The Vermont Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Form is an essential legal document used in Vermont. Its primary purpose is to delegate the authority from an individual (known as the “Principal”) to another person (the “Agent”) to manage their financial affairs.

The significance of this form lies in ensuring that the Principal’s financial matters continue seamlessly even when they are incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage them personally.

The stipulated guidelines protect both the Principal and the Agent, ensuring that the Agent acts in the principal’s best interest and according to their wishes.

Legalizing this transaction protects all parties involved, and any malicious or unintended actions can be held accountable under the law.

 

Designation Of Agent

 

Step 1: Name and Address

 

Here, you’ll enter your full name followed by your city and state of residence.
This clarifies who is giving the power of attorney, ensuring there is no confusion regarding the identity of the Principal.

Example: I, John Doe, of 123 Apple Street, City of Burlington, State of Vermont (the “Principal”).

 

Step 2: Revoke all previous powers of attorney

 


Initial next to the statement if you wish to nullify any prior power of attorney forms.
This ensures that the current document becomes the primary legal directive, eliminating any past conflicts or ambiguities.

Example: JD (Initials of John Doe)

 

Step 3: Name the following person as my Agent

 


Here, you designate someone you trust to handle your financial affairs. The term “Agent” emphasizes the individual’s responsibility and authority.

 

Step 4: Name of Agent

 


Write the full name of the person you’re designating.

Example: Name of Agent: Jane Smith (“Agent”)

 

Step 5: Agent’s Address

 


Enter the complete address of your Agent.
This ensures easy accessibility and communication between parties and for legal purposes.
 

Example: Agent’s Address: 456 Orange Road, City of Montpelier, State of Vermont

 

Step 6: Agent’s Telephone Number

 


Provide the primary contact number of your Agent.
For timely communication, ensure they can be reached promptly in emergencies.

Example: Agent’s Telephone Number: (802)-555-1234

 

Designation Of Successor Agent 

 

Step 1: Alternate person

 


Write the full name of the person you’re designating as your backup agent.

Example: Name of Successor Agent: Robert Johnson

 

Step 2: Successor Agent’s Address

 


Enter the complete address of your Successor Agent.
This ensures easy accessibility and communication between parties and for legal purposes.

Example: Successor Agent’s Address: 789 Pear Lane, City of Rutland, State of Vermont

 

Step 3: Successor Agent’s Telephone Number

 


Provide the primary contact number of your Successor Agent.
For timely communication, ensure they can be reached promptly in emergencies.

Example: Successor Agent’s Telephone Number: (802)-555-5678

Grant Of Specific Authority 

 

 

This section deals with granting specific authorities to your Agent. Unlike the general authorities discussed earlier, these specific authorities can drastically impact your property and its eventual distribution.

This isn’t something to rush through; take your time understanding each specific authority and be absolutely certain before granting any.

 

Step 1: An Agent who is not an ancestor, spouse, or descendant…

 


This authority allows an Agent, who isn’t a family member, to create an interest in your property for themselves or someone they’re legally obligated to support.

Example: If you want your best friend (your Agent) to have the ability to gift some of your property to their child (to whom they owe support), you’d initial here.

 

Step 2: Create, amend, revoke, or terminate a trust…

 


This provides the Agent authority over creating or modifying different kinds of trusts.

Example: If you want your Agent to set up a living trust for your assets or amend an existing one, you’d initial this.

 

Step 3: Consent to the modification or termination of a noncharitable irrevocable trust…

 


A more specific trust-related power relating to noncharitable irrevocable trusts.

Example: If you have such a trust that might need changing or ending, and you want your Agent to handle that, initial here.

 

Step 4: Make a gift…

 


This permits your Agent to give gifts from your assets, with certain limitations.

Example: If you’d like your Agent to gift a sum of money to a charity or person on special occasions, you’d initial this.

 

Step 5: Create, amend, or change rights of survivorship…

 


Rights of survivorship determine what happens to certain properties after your death.

Example: If you own a joint bank account and want your Agent to alter who gets the funds after your demise, you’d initial here.

 

Step 6: Create, amend, or change a beneficiary designation…

 


This pertains to naming or changing beneficiaries for assets like insurance policies.

Example: If you want your Agent to change the beneficiary of your life insurance, you’d initial here.

 

 

Step 7: Waive the Principal’s right…

 


Allows your Agent to waive your right to be a beneficiary for certain assets.

Example: If you’re named as a beneficiary for a friend’s retirement plan and want your Agent to waive that right, initial here.

 

Step 8: Exercise fiduciary powers…

 


This permits the Agent to use any fiduciary powers you can delegate.

Example: If you’d like your Agent to act as a trustee on your behalf for a family trust, you’d initial this.

 

 

Step 9: Authorize another person to exercise the authority…

 


This lets your Agent delegate the powers you’ve given them to someone else.

Example: If you’re comfortable with your Agent letting another trusted person act on certain matters, initial here.

 

 

Step 10: Disclaim or refuse an interest in property…

 


Allows your Agent to refuse or disclaim properties or inheritances on your behalf.

Example: If you’ve inherited a property with high taxes and you want your Agent to disclaim it, you’d initial this.

 

 

Step 11: Exercise authority with respect to elective share…

 


Pertains to the Agent’s ability to claim an elective share of a spouse’s estate.

Example: If you’d like your Agent to claim a share of your late spouse’s estate on your behalf, initial here.

 

 

Step 12: Exercise waiver rights…

 


Lets your Agent waive certain rights you might have under the law.

Example: If there’s a legal entitlement you want your Agent to waive on your behalf, initial here.

 

 

Step 13: Exercise authority over digital assets…

 


Grants control over your online presence, including emails, social media accounts, and more.

Example: If you want your Agent to manage or shut down your Facebook account, you’d initial here.

 

Step 14: Exercise authority with respect to intellectual property…

 


This involves copyrights, royalties, trademarks, and similar assets.

Example: If you’re an author and want your Agent to manage your book’s copyrights and royalties, initial here.

 

 

Step 15: Convey, or revoke or revise a grantee designation…

 


Allows your Agent to handle specific types of property deeds for you.

Example: If you’d like your Agent to change the designated grantee of your property via an enhanced life estate deed, you’d initial here.

 

 

Effective Date

 

 

This section is all about the timing. When does this Power of Attorney come into play?

 

Step 1: This Power of Attorney is effective only upon my later incapacity

 


This means the form takes effect only when you’re incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself.

Example: After a severe accident that leaves you in a coma, the power will become effective.

 

Step 2: This Power of Attorney is effective only upon my later incapacity or unavailability

 


Beyond just incapacity, if you’re unavailable (maybe out of the country with no means of communication), this form becomes active.

Example: You’re on a deep-sea expedition for three months and can’t be reached.

 

Step 3: I direct that this Power of Attorney shall become effective when one or more of the following occurs

 


This is where you can specify other triggers that aren’t listed.

Example: “Upon my 80th birthday” or “If I get diagnosed with a specific illness.”

 

 

Nomination Of Guardian

 

 

This field concerns potential guardians for both your estate (your assets) and your personal being.

In the event a court deems it necessary to appoint a guardian, your wishes are clearly stated. Without this, the court might choose someone you wouldn’t have.

 

Step 1: Name of Nominee for guardian of my estate

 


The person you trust to oversee and manage your assets.

Example: You might name your eldest child who has always been responsible with finances.

 

 

Step 2: Name of Nominee for guardian of my person

 


This individual will make decisions concerning your well-being, possibly including medical decisions. For both nominees, provide their Address and Telephone Number for ease of contact and verification.

Example: A close friend who’s a doctor and knows your medical wishes intimately.

 

Signature And Acknowledgment

 

This is where you put it all into action.

To officially and legally enact the document.

Without your signature, this document has no legal weight.

 

Step 1: In Witness Whereof

 


Here, you’ll fill in the date you’re signing the form. It acts as a timestamp for when you made these decisions.

 

Step 2: Principal’s Signature

 


Your signature, sealing the deal.

 

Step 3: Printed Name

 


Your full name, printed, to ensure clarity on the signatory.

Example: If you’re Jane A. Doe, you’d sign with your usual signature and then print “Jane A. Doe” below.

 

 

Conclusion

 


The Vermont Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Form is a robust legal measure ensuring that your financial affairs are entrusted to someone capable and trustworthy.

It is more than just a delegation; it’s a proactive step to ensure continuity and security in uncertain times.

Always complete it with utmost clarity and precision to protect all parties involved and uphold your wishes even when you might not be able to voice them personally.