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Get a Virginia power of attorney in minutes

Choose someone to act in financial matters on your behalf by executing a power of attorney (POA). FindLaw’s guided process means you can complete your own POA quickly and easily.

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Power of Attorney

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A do-it-yourself power of attorney form that’s easy to personalize

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Estate Planning Package

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All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

$189
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Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
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Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

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Do I really need a power of attorney in Virginia?

If you cannot manage your own finances due to a mental or physical disability, a power of attorney allows someone you chose (while healthy) to care for you and manage your finances.

If you do not have a power of attorney and become incapacitated, a court will intervene and appoint a guardian or conservator. This can be costly for you and your family, and the court process can add unneeded stress to an already difficult situation.

FindLaw provides an easy-to-use service where you can create your own power of attorney quickly and securely.

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Written by:

Jeff Burtka, Esq.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Bridget Molitor, J.D.

Managing Editor

How it works

The process takes less than an hour, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Indicate who your agent will be and what authority you want them to have

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary

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Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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How to get a Virginia power of attorney

Understand how a POA works in Virgina

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person (the principal) to give another person the legal authority to make binding decisions on behalf of the principal. The person who acts for the principal is called the agent or attorney-in-fact.

In Virginia, powers of attorney are used to manage property, money, and finances. If you want someone to manage your health care, you will need an advance directive (which we offer here).

Select your agents

Picking an agent you can trust is one of the most important decisions when making a power of attorney. You will need to trust your agent under a power of attorney to safeguard your money and property.

Power of attorney agents should be responsible and capable of making good financial decisions. They also should be comfortable dealing with financial and legal professionals.

You can appoint co-agents for your power of attorney. Unless your power of attorney says otherwise, they will be able to act independently of each other. Co-agents should only be used in rare circumstances because having two agents can cause confusion and conflict if they disagree.

Finally, you should have one or more successor agents for your power of attorney. A successor agent takes over as agent if your original agent is unable or unavailable to serve.

Decide what powers to give your agents

You can give your agents broad or limited powers with a power of attorney.

Your power of attorney that an agent will use when you are incapacitated should give your agent broad enough powers to pay your bills and manage your property. However, you can create additional powers of attorney for limited purposes. For example, you might want a friend who is a car expert to sell a car for you. You could give them a power of attorney that gives them only enough authority to negotiate a deal.

Find a reliable form

The Virginia Code does not contain a sample power of attorney form. We offer up-to-date power of attorney forms. They are easy to fill out and allow you to list your agents and the powers you would like to give them.

Sign your form and follow Virginia’s witness requirements

Filling out a form does not make it legally valid. You must comply with Virginia’s signature requirements.

You must sign your power of attorney or direct another person in your presence to sign your name for you if you are physically unable to sign. You do not need witnesses, but you should have it notarized by a notary public.

Give your form to everyone who might need it

After you sign your form with a notary or witnesses, you should make sure your agent has a copy.  Banks and businesses that will deal with your agent should also have a copy of your power of attorney.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • You don’t know who to choose as your agent
  • You want to use a POA for Medicaid planning
  • You want to discuss which powers you should give your agent
  • You want legal review of your completed power of attorney
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Virginia powers of attorney commonly asked questions

Virginia has several types of powers of attorney. Some people might use different names for the following powers of attorney, but these are the important ones to know.

Durable power of attorney

A durable power of attorney remains effective when the principal is incapacitated. In Virginia, a power of attorney is considered durable unless it expressly states that is terminated by the principal’s incapacity.

Nondurable power of attorney

This power of attorney terminates when the principal is incapacitated. Under the Virginia Uniform Power of Attorney Act, incapacity includes situations when the principal is missing or outside the United States and unable to return.

Springing power of attorney

A power of attorney is effective immediately, unless it is springing power of attorney. A springing power of attorney states that it becomes effective on a specific date or upon a future event.

People mostly use springing powers of attorney when they want to withhold authority from their agents until they are incapacitated. However, be cautious using a springing power of attorney for incapacity. Determining incapacity can cause unnecessary delay, and your agent will need strong proof that you are incapacitated if they want banks and businesses to accept your authority.

Limited or special power of attorney

A limited or special power of attorney grants limited authority to an agent to handle specific deal or type of transaction. For example, you may want an agent to sell your home for you if you move out of state and are unable to do sign closing documents remotely.

Power of attorney to delegate parental or legal custodial powers

A parent or legal custodian of a minor child can use this power of attorney to name another adult to care for the child for a period up to 180 days. The agent will have the authority to make all decisions regarding the child’s care, except they cannot consent to marriage or adoption of the child, an abortion, or termination of parental rights.

If you are concerned about who your agent should be or how much power to give them, then you might want to speak with a licensed attorney in Virginia.

If you are comfortable filling out a form and know who you trust to be your agent, then you might not need a lawyer to help you create a power of attorney. If you use the easy-to-complete forms we offer and follow their instructions, you can create your own power of attorney.

If you no longer want your agent to have authority, you can revoke a power of attorney.

If you want to revoke a power of attorney in Virginia, you should sign a written revocation and have it notarized. You should give it to your agent, all your banks and financial institutions, and any other business that has dealt with your agent.

A business or person can reject a power of attorney without penalty for several reasons. For example, an agent might ask them to conduct an illegal transaction, or a business might know the power of attorney is invalid. Virginia Code Section 64.2–1618(B) lists all the acceptable reasons for a business or person to reject a power of attorney.

If someone does not have a good reason to refuse your agent’s authority, a court can order them to accept the power of attorney and to pay attorney fees and costs.

As your parents age, you may need to discuss who will take care of them if they are incapacitated. If your parents are competent and understand what they are signing, you can use the steps above to help them complete their own power of attorney.

If they do not have the mental or physical capacity to understand what they are signing, then you should not help them complete a power of attorney. You should get legal advice from an attorney licensed in Virginia. An attorney can help you get a court-appointed guardian or conservator for your parents.

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