A West Virginia Power of Attorney document is a legal form that allows an individual to appoint someone they trust to act as a proxy on their behalf in certain situations. In these situations, the person who appoints someone else to act on their behalf is known as a Principal, while the person they appoint is referred to as the Attorney-in-Fact. In West Virginia, Chapter 39B governs all power of attorney forms and dictates that all Durable Power of Attorney forms must be in writing and signed by the Principal or someone who signs on behalf of the Principal. In addition, this form must be dated, signed by two (2) witnesses and notarized. Power of attorney documents are protected by law and compel entities to abide by them. For example, if a doctor is unable or unwilling to comply with an Agent's decisions, the physician must, by law, transfer the Principal to the care of a willing doctor. However, these same doctors that must comply with these power of attorney documents also experience protection under Chapter 39B. According to the law, attending physicians experience no civil liability for compliance with the directions of a power of attorney, even if it results in the death of the Principal.
West Virginia Power of Attorney documents can be easily completed by the Principal with just a few pieces of information. The first piece of information that the Principal must provide is their own name (first and last), along with their address. Next, the Principal name their Agent. This is accomplished by providing the Agent's full name, address, and a reliable phone number in which they can be contacted. If the Principal wishes to appoint an alternate Agent, he or she may do so by providing the same information that he or she provided for the primary Agent. Once the Agent or Agents have been identified, the Principal may then describe the powers that he or she is receiving. Once this information has been provided, the Principal may then sign and date the document, also having the document witnessed or notarized according to West Virginia's requirements.