Powers of Attorney
Along with wills, guardianships and other legal documents, power of attorney documents are key pieces of your estate planning puzzle. Envisioning a future for your estate is not just about determining what your final wishes would be — it also involves imagining difficult circumstances that could arise during your lifetime and determining how you would want to handle them.
Powers of attorney allow you to designate a person (known as your "agent" or "proxy") who can make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to communicate your wishes or manage your own affairs. Estate planning attorney Christopher W. Roop, founder of The Law Office of C.W. Roop, PLLC, frequently prepares power of attorney documents for clients from all walks of life. He will take the time to listen to your aspirations and concerns and can help you draft a document that will provide you with peace of mind about the future.
How Powers Of Attorney Operate In Virginia
If a lawyer helps you prepare a power of attorney for health care, your designated agent will be enabled to make medical and end-of-life decisions on your behalf. You may specify the choices you wish your agent to make in these situations through a separate living will document.
To establish a durable power of attorney, you must draft a written advance directive, and it must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. You will remain in charge of your affairs and medical decisions as long as you are judged to be competent and able to communicate with others. Virginia has a tradition of powers of attorney being "strictly construed," which means that judges do not read powers into the document that are not explicitly granted.
To revoke a power of attorney document, one of the following must occur:
A signed and dated written statement of revocation must be created.
The original document must be physically destroyed.
The person to whom it applies must make an oral expression of his/her intent to revoke.
Revocation of the document becomes valid upon communication to an attending physician.
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