Can just a wife be on her husband’s POA or does someone else needs to be on teh POA as well and can you amend a POA later to add another person?

This question is concerning a power of attorney. Can just a wife be on her husband’s POA or does she need witnesses and a contingent to be on the POA?

Asked on December 27, 2017 under Estate Planning, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Being a spouse does not automatically make you someone's attorney-in-fact or agent (those are the terms for someone giving power by a POA); for example, if the husband has bank accounts solely in his name, being a spouse does not let you access them. To have full power over your spouse's sole money, property, etc., you need to have a formal, properly signed and witnessed power of attorney. (Obviously, you  have power over any joint assets or accounts, like joint bank accounts, without a POA.)

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