Diligent and responsible parents in Virginia might consider a power of attorney if they anticipate being unable to make certain decisions themselves at some point. However, this process is sometimes fairly complex when multiple relatives are part of the equation. Possible family feuds and other complications may be avoided if there is a better understanding of what power of attorney means and what options are available.

A power of attorney document gives a third party the legal right to make decisions for another individual or act on their behalf, usually for health-related reasons. There is often confusion over the terms POA and executor. The main difference is that a POA is only in effect while the individual it was created for is alive. An executor’s role in managing estate-related matters begins after death. There are also different versions of a power of attorney.

A general power of attorney allows a person of sound mind to name another individual to manage their business, private, or financial affairs. If a parent grants this type of POA to their adult child, that person would be expected to act responsibly on behalf of their parent. This means other siblings would also be expected to respect their ability to do so. The same concept applies with a medical POA, which allows a designated individual to make medical decisions. Another option is a joint POA, which allows a parent to name two individuals to make certain decisions together.

By seeking Forest, Virginia, power of attorney legal representation prior to making final decisions about a POA, a parent may be able to have the document set up in a way that minimizes the possibility of family battles. An estate planning attorney might also suggest that the individual given power of attorney make an effort to regularly share information with other family members to avoid unnecessarily creating suspicion.