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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Power of Attorney / Do I Need a General or a Limited Power of Attorney?

Do I Need a General or a Limited Power of Attorney?


In Virginia, as in other states, you may use a power of attorney to help ensure the management of your affairs if something happens to you.

If you are unable to speak or act for yourself, have you appointed someone else under a power of attorney to handle your affairs? There are many reasons why you might need a power of attorney, including ones for very specific purposes or for long-term, broad management. The good news is that you can tailor your POA to what you need and want. One big difference is between a general and a limited power of attorney.

A general power of attorney enables another person to act on your behalf with their discretion. This means you give them broad powers to do whatever may need to be done on your behalf. This can give you great coverage, but is not recommended if you don’t fully trust the person you appoint in this role.

On the other hand, a limited power of attorney means that the chosen representative can only carry out the specific purpose or purposes you outline in the document, such as paying your bills or serving as your agent in a real estate closing. As this is much more narrow, it can give you peace of mind about handling a specific issue of concern, but does not authorize this agent with the broad powers that you might need in the event you were incapacitated for a long period of time.

It’s best to discuss any questions and concerns about power of attorney type and how best to use it. A lawyer can guide you through individual intentions so you get clarity around which powers to give to your power of attorney agent. For further support, set up a time to meet with a Virginia Beach estate lawyer.

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