Vermont Power of Attorney Forms
The Vermont Power of Attorney Forms outline the required conditions for a relationship between a Principal and Agent to be valid in the eyes of the law. A Principal is the name given to a party who has decided to authorize another party to manage their affairs in their absence. The party who agrees to manage the Principal’s affairs in their absence is referred to as the Agent. A Principal is responsible for choosing their own agent, whom should be a trusted individual known to them, or an entity, such as a company, that possesses the necessary expertise to effectively manage their affairs.
What is a Vermont Power of Attorney?
A Vermont Power of Attorney is a commonly-used legal document due to its function of allowing individuals to exercise their right to elect another party to handle their personal and business affairs on their behalf. In most circumstances, an individual may draft their own Power of Attorney (POA) form, that will be considered legally valid so long as it upholds state-mandated power of attorney laws. The state, however, has provided some POA forms that address specific circumstances that must be used, such as Form PMG61 and Form PA-1, both of which are found below.
- Vermont Power of Attorney Laws – (Title 14, Chapter 123, “Powers of Attorney”) and (Title 18, Chapter 231, “Advance Directives For Health Care, Disposition Of Remains, And Surrogate Decision Making”)
- State Definition of Durable Power of Attorney (14 V.S.A. § 3501) – “means a written power of attorney in which the authority of the agent does not terminate in the event of the disability or incapacity of the principal.”
- State Definition of Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney (18 V.S.A. § 9701(1)) – “means a written record executed pursuant to section 9703 of this title, which may include appointment of an agent, identification of a preferred primary care clinician, instructions on health care desires or treatment goals, an anatomical gift, disposition of remains, and funeral goods and services. The term includes documents designated under prior law as a durable power of attorney for health care or a terminal care document.”
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (14 V.S.A. § 3503) – It is a requirement that the POA is signed by the Principal in the presence of at least one (1) witness and is acknowledged before a Notary Public. The Principal may also direct another individual to sign the document on their behalf in their presence. The Agent may also sign the POA.
- Advance Directive / Medical Power of Attorney (18 V.S.A. § 9703) – Must be dated, executed, and signed by the Principal in the presence of two (2) or more witnesses who must sign and affirm the Principal met the requirements set out in 18 V.S.A. § 9703. Another individual may sign for the Principal in their presence if they are physically unable to do so themselves.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney – A POA that contains specific language pertaining to the fact that it will remain valid even in the event the principal becomes incapacitated or dies.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – A type of power of attorney that sets out conditions for its termination upon the principal’s incapacity or death.
Download – Adobe PDF
Guardianship Agreement (Minor Child POA | Form PMG61) – Form PMG61, also known as the Custodial Guardianship Agreement and Family Plan, allows for parents to establish a custodial minor guardianship for their child or children.
Download – Adobe PDF
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – A contract made by a principal who wants to enact a power of attorney for a particular, instead of broad purpose.
Medical (Health Care) Power of Attorney – An individual can use this legal document to indicate their choices in regards to medical matters such as their palliative care and whether they wish to be resuscitated or not.
Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney – If an individual does not have the time, expertise, or interest in completing certain tasks regarding their motor vehicle, they can delegate them to another party using this document.
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – A POA that specifically deals with power of attorney arrangements concerning the principal’s real estate.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – A legal document that effectively ceases the continuation of a POA, irrespective of any conditions the POA lists to the contrary.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney (Form PA-1) – Individuals, businesses, and trusts may use this power of attorney, issued by the Vermont Department of Taxes, to appoint an agent to perform specified acts on their behalf as a taxpayer.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
A General / Durable Power of Attorney has a number of requirements that must be upheld in order for it to be effective. The law 14 V.S.A. § 3503 states that a POA must:
- Be signed by the Principal (or, if they are physically unable to sign the document themselves, by another individual directed by them to do so in their presence),
- Signed in the presence of at least one (1) witness, and
- Acknowledged before a Notary Public.
The law also states that the Agent may sign “at any time after a power of attorney has been executed and before it has been exercised for the first time.”
An Advance Directive / Medical (Health Care) Power of Attorney, according to 18 V.S.A. § 9703 will be effective once:
- The POA is dated, executed, and signed by the Principal (or by another individual they direct to sign the document on their behalf in their presence),
- The Principal completes the above actions in the presence of two (2) or more witnesses, of whom meet the requirements set out by 18 V.S.A. § 9703(c), and
- The witnesses sign and affirm that the Principal “appeared to understand the nature of the document and to be free from duress or undue influence at the time the advance directive was signed.”
The Advance Directive will not be effective if the Principal is being admitted to or is a resident of a nursing home or residential care facility at the time of its execution. That is, unless one of the individuals listed in 18 V.S.A. § 9703(d) “explains the nature and effect of an advance directive to the principal and signs a statement affirming that he or she has provided the explanation.”
In order for a Vermont Guardianship Agreement, otherwise known as a Minor Child Power of Attorney / Custodial Guardianship Agreement and Family Plan (Form PMG61), to be executed, it must be signed by the parent/s and their Proposed Guardian.