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Can a Power of Attorney give a power of attorney to a lawyer?

Richmond, VA |

I have Power of Attorney for my Husband who is out of state a lot. He has a legal matter that needs to be handled in another state. Can I give the Attorney Power of Attorney to act on his behalf just for that matter?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Normally, this cannot be done. You would need to have a new POA drawn up to allow this. Your husband's attorney would not need a POA to represent your husband in court, however. If your question is can YOU, acting under the POA, hire an attorney to represent your husband's interests in court, I would say that the answer is very likely yes.

    James Frederick

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  2. I agree with attorney Frederick that YOU, acting as agent under your husband's POA, can hire an attorney to represent your husband's interests, unless the hiring of an attorney is specifically prohibited by the Power of Attorney document. However, the answer to your question of whether you, acting as agent under your husband's POA, can delegate your power to another person (a lawyer or otherwise) is "maybe." It all depends on the wording of the Power of Attorney document. Not all Power of Attorney documents are the same -- there are no "standard forms." If the Power of Attorney document you have allows you to delegate your powers to someone else, than you can. This power to delegate your authority is permitted under the Virginia Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Subsection 5 of Section 64.2-1622, but this power must be specifically granted in the document.

    Evan H. Farr can be reached at 703-691-1888 or at http://www.farrlawfirm.com. Evan is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, which is approved by the American Bar Association, but Virginia has no procedure for approving certifying organizations. NOTICE - Unless expressly stated otherwise, this communication: (1) is not legal advice absent an existing attorney-client relationship between us; (2) does not create an attorney-client relationship; (3) does not constitute an offer, acceptance, or contract amendment; (4) may contain confidential or legally privileged information protected by the attorney-client relationship and/or work product privilege; (5) is only for the use of the individual to whom it is intended by the sender to be sent, and if you are not such recipient, disclosure, copying, distribution or reliance upon this communication is prohibited; and (6) is not intended, and cannot be used, to avoid tax-related penalties pursuant to treasury department circular 230.


  3. I agree that the powers may be delegated to another agent only if permitted under the power of attorney. However, it does not sound like your husband is incapacitated. If your husband has the capacity to execute a power of attorney, it might be most prudent to simply have him execute a specific or limited power to the person who will be handling the matter out of state. I say this because depending on how it will be used, an institution may not feel comfortable accepting this new delegated power.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on. Legal advice can only be provided after consultation with an attorney with experience in the area in which your concern lies. This is so because each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and/or documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.