Legal Help With Virginia Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney are essential parts of estate planning that provide solutions when you are no longer capable of managing your own affairs. At James W. Hilldrup, PLC, we work with clients to help them put legal instruments in place that safeguard their estates, help them manage assets and establish decisions about future healthcare.
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that assigns authority to another party to act as your agent and manage specific actions or functions. There are different types of powers of attorney that serve different purposes. Some of the major types of powers of attorney include:
- Limited power of attorney (LPOA). A limited power of attorney authorizes an agent to perform certain functions on behalf of the individual. An example of a limited power of attorney is for investment accounts where the stockholder allows the portfolio manager to perform certain functions such as trading, disbursement, fee payments or sending forms like proxy statements or tender offers to brokers. The power of attorney is limited because the account holder retains the sole authority to perform certain activities, such as making withdrawals or changing beneficiaries.
- Durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney authorizes proxies to make medical or health care decisions in the event that individuals become too physically ill or mentally incapacitated to make their decisions. The person they appoint acts as an attorney-in-fact, which is different than an agent named in a living will ― who has more limited authority. The proxy in a durable power of attorney can make decisions in any type of healthcare situation, not just when the person is terminally ill, has lost consciousness or is unable to communicate.
- Medical power of attorney. A medical power of attorney assigns a trusted individual to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are no longer capable of making your own medical decisions. A physician must certify incompetence before the medical POA can start making healthcare decisions. However, if you object to the treatment, whether incompetent or not, physicians cannot provide the treatment.
A power of attorney goes into effect the date you sign the legal document, unless it is a springing power of attorney, in which case it goes into effect at a specified time, such as when you are no longer mentally capable. As long as you are mentally competent, you can revoke a power of attorney at any time. With a limited power of attorney, you can act on your on behalf instead of the agent acting for you at any time.
Power of attorney abuse occurs when proxies act for you abusively. For example, abuse occurs when in managing trusts, proxies carry out functions they were not authorized to perform. Agents who use your funds for their own personal gains are committing abuse and an experienced lawyer can help you take legal action.
Contact an experienced legal team about a Virginia power of attorney today
If you need legal help with setting up powers of attorney, the offices of James W. Hilldrup, PLC in Fredericksburg can provide you with effective legal advice and draft legal documents on your behalf. Contact our offices today.