West Virginia Power of Attorney Forms
The West Virginia Power of Attorney Forms may be enacted by any individual (the Principal) who believes they will benefit from an arrangement whereby another person or entity of their choice (the Agent) will act on their behalf. This arrangement should be established through the creation of a Power of Attorney form, as doing so will:
- Ensure legal compliance,
- Provide a point of reference to the terms of the agreement,
- Make the legal obligations of both parties known, and
- Remove ambiguity about what the Agent can or cannot do.
What is a West Virginia Power of Attorney?
A West Virginia Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that represents, in written form, an agreement that an Agent will stand in the place of the Principal in the circumstances they list in this document. State law, namely § 39B-1-102, defines these two parties as follows:
- The Principal: “An individual who grants authority to an agent in a power of attorney.”
- The Agent: “A person granted authority to act for a principal under a power of attorney, whether denominated an agent, attorney-in-fact or otherwise. The term includes an original agent, coagent, successor agent and a person to which an agent’s authority is delegated.”
Once a Power of Attorney has been duly signed by both parties and has been subsequently put into effect, both parties have a legal responsibility to follow the stipulations contained within it.
- West Virginia Power of Attorney Laws – (Chapter 39B, “Uniform Power of Attorney Act”) and (Chapter 16, Article 30, “West Virginia Health Care Decisions Act”)
- State Definition of Power of Attorney (§39B-1-102(7)) – “means a writing or other record that grants authority to an agent to act in the place of the principal, whether or not the term power of attorney is used.”
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (§ 39B-1-105) – Must be signed by the Principal (or in their conscious presence by another individual directed by them to sign their name) and acknowledged by the Principal before a Notary Public or other authorized individual.
- Medical Power of Attorney / Advance Directive (§ 16-30-4) – A Principal must execute, date, and sign a Medical POA in the presence of two (2) or more qualified witnesses. The witnesses must sign and attest the POA before a Notary Public.
Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney – A type of POA that states the Principal’s intent that the authority they confer to an agent should be exercisable notwithstanding their incapacity.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – From the moment it is put into effect up until the point of a principal’s incapacity or death, this legal form grants an agent the authority to make financial decisions on the principal’s behalf.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – A document that contains language that specifies the limited circumstances a principal will grant decision making powers to an agent.
Medical Power of Attorney – As state law outlines, this type of power of attorney will only become effective upon the principal’s “incapacity to give, withhold or withdraw informed consent” to their own medical care.
Minor Child Power of Attorney – A parent who enacts this legal document does so to authorize another individual to temporarily take care of their child. The parents who are a party to this agreement will still retain full parental rights.
Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form DMV-9-TR) – Represents a request by an individual to the West Virginia DMV to appoint an attorney-in-fact to attend to matters on their behalf which concern their vehicle, such as the transfer of vehicle ownership.
Download – Adobe PDF
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – Another party may handle such tasks as the sale, purchase, or management of a property on behalf of an individual, so long as that individual executes a Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – Legally puts an end to a Power of Attorney, regardless of the length or conditions of the term the parties to a POA previously agreed to.
Tax Filing Power of Attorney (Form WV-2848) – If an individual residing in Washington state wishes to elect another person to manage any tax matters for them, they may use this form to elect a power-of-attorney to perform such acts on their behalf.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
A General / Durable Power of Attorney carries certain requirements, contained within § 39B-1-105, that must be met for it to be effective. That is, the document must be signed by the Principal and acknowledged by the Principal before a Notary Public or other authorized individual. The Principal may direct another individual to sign their name, provided that the signature takes place in their conscious presence.
As required by § 16-30-4, in order for a Medical Power of Attorney / Advance Directive to be effective, it must be executed, dated, and signed by the Principal. They must sign in the presence of two (2) or more witnesses, who are required to subsequently sign and attest the POA before a Notary Public. In order to serve as a witness, an individual must meet the strict criteria set out by § 16-30-4(b). If the Principal is physically unable to sign the POA by themselves, they may direct another individual to sign it on their behalf in their presence.
For a Minor Child Power of Attorney to be considered valid in the state, § 49-8-4 mandates that the parent/s or legal custodian/s must sign the form and their signature/s must be acknowledged by a Notary Public.