When does a power of attorney become effective?

A few years ago we wrote about what is a power of attorney.  As we outlined in that article, the power of attorney is a legal document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person (the attorney-in-fact) to make personal and/or financial decisions on behalf of the principal.

These documents become effective based on the language included in the power of attorney itself.  When drafting a power of attorney, the principal can decide if they want their attorney-in-fact to have the powers included in the document immediately or upon the condition of need or incapacity.  This choice is unique to the individual and would be contingent on goals of the principal.

A power of attorney is effective until it is revoked or upon the principal passing.  This also is determined by the language of the power of attorney, and in some states, if it is durable or not durable.

As we stated in our prior article, as there are a number of issues that must be considered when drafting a power of attorney and tailoring it to a specific individual or family we recommend that parties consult an attorney when putting a power of attorney together.  If you have questions about power of attorneys or estate planning in general, please contact the estate law attorneys at Winslow & McCurry, PLLC at (804) 423-1382.  We would like to help.