Virginia Beach Power of Attorney
Letting You Advocate for Your Healthcare and Financial Affairs, Even When You Can’t Speak for Yourself
There can be times in anyone’s life when they cannot manage their own affairs, such as due to an accidental injury or age-related memory loss. This period might be brief or long-lasting, temporary or permanent. Whether you think this could happen to you or not, estate planning is about preparing for the expected as well as the unexpected, and making sure that no matter what happens, you and your family will be taken care of according to your wishes. A power of attorney can help ensure that your legal and financial affairs are managed appropriately by people you trust in the manner you want. The Law Office of Angela N. Manz can help. Contact our experienced Virginia Beach power of attorney legal team today.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants one person, often referred to as the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” the authority to act on behalf of another person, known as the “principal.” This delegation of authority can be broad or specific, depending on the desires and needs of the principal. There are different types of powers of attorney that accomplish different purposes. At The Law Office of Angela N. Manz, we take the time to understand your needs, explain your options, and craft the right powers of attorney for your comprehensive estate plan.
Types of Powers of Attorney in Virginia
- General Power of Attorney: This POA grants the agent broad authority to act on the principal’s behalf. This could include managing financial affairs, entering into contracts, or making decisions regarding property. For example, if you are traveling out of the country for a period or otherwise unable to attend to your affairs, you might consider a general power of attorney. Unless specified otherwise, this type of POA becomes void if the principal becomes incapacitated.
- Durable Power of Attorney: Like the general version, this POA grants broad powers. However, it remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. This is crucial for individuals seeking to ensure their affairs are handled should they be unable to do so themselves.
- Limited or Special Power of Attorney: This POA grants the agent authority to act only in specific situations or for specific purposes. For example, the principal might grant authority only to sell a particular piece of property. For instance, if you need an expert or professional to act on your behalf with full authority in a complex area, a special power of attorney could meet your needs.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney: This POA grants the agent the authority to make medical decisions for the principal if they are unable to make them for themselves. The healthcare POA is different from a Living Will, which only allows you to express your wishes regarding medical care in an end-of-life situation. It is also broader than certain advance healthcare directives which direct medical decisions in specific situations.
- Revocation of Power of Attorney: This allows you to cancel and revoke the power of attorney that you have created.
Benefits of Establishing a Power of Attorney
- Flexibility: A POA can be tailored to fit the unique needs and wishes of the principal. You can specify what decisions your agent can make, and under what circumstances.
- Protection: In the absence of a POA, if someone becomes incapacitated, their loved ones might have to go through a lengthy and expensive guardianship or conservatorship process in court to be granted the authority to make decisions on their behalf.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing that someone you trust is equipped to handle your affairs, should you be unable to, can provide invaluable peace of mind.
Provisions of a Durable Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney can provide broad and extensive powers for your agent to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so, such as if you are physically or mentally incapacitated. Some of these powers include, but are not limited to:
- Filing of tax returns
- Buying and selling real estate property
- Managing property
- Handling bank transactions
- Accessing safety deposit boxes
- Acquisition of life, health, and automobile insurance
- Settling claims
- Entering into contracts
- Managing stocks
- Operating businesses
- Transferring assets to a Revocable Living Trust
- Protecting assets from the costs of long term care
How to Create a Power of Attorney in Virginia
- Choose an Agent: It’s essential to pick someone you trust to act competently and in your best interests, according to your wishes. This could be a family member, close friend, or trusted advisor.
- Consult with an Attorney: While there are generic POA forms available, consulting with an attorney ensures that the document is tailored to your needs and is compliant with Virginia laws. Some off-the-shelf or online POAs might not even be legally valid and enforceable in Virginia.
- Execute the Document: Virginia law requires that the POA be signed in the presence of a notary. Some types may also require the signatures of witnesses.
- Record the POA (if necessary): While not all POAs need to be recorded, those dealing with real property transactions often do.
Contact The Law Office of Angela N. Manz for Help With Powers of Attorney in Virginia Beach
Powers of Attorney are essential tools in estate planning. They ensure that your affairs are managed according to your wishes, even if you’re unable to make decisions yourself. At The Law Office of Angela N. Manz in Virginia Beach, we’re dedicated to helping our clients create the powers of attorney they need, ensuring their peace of mind and the well-being of themselves and their loved ones. Reach out today to discuss how we can assist you in establishing a Power of Attorney tailored to your unique needs.