Does a Power of Attorney and Advanced Directive signed in one state transfer to another?

My mother signed these documents when her mental capacity was stable in NY. We have since relocated to GA and her mental capacity has diminished (she is currently on medication for memory loss). Since she may not be able to sign documents in GA, are her NY documents legal there?

Asked on August 27, 2011 Georgia


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother.

The power of attorney and advanced directive should be valid from one state to another.  The power of attorney and advanced directive clearly expressed your mother's intent at the time when she had the mental capacity to make those decisions.  If a state refused to recognize those documents simply because they were signed in another state, then the second state would not be carrying out your mother's intent at a time when she no longer had the capacity to manifest her intentions. 

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You are very wise to think ahead at this point in time rather than waiting until there is a crisis.  Generally speaking, if the documents were validly executed in New York they should indeed be valid in Georgia, even if the Georgia requirements may vary slightly.  So you should indeed be fine.  And you should consider having her execute another in Georgia if she is still legally sounds.  A diminished capacity is not the same as "not of sound mind."  But if her capacity has diminished considerably,stay with the papers you have now or consider being appointed as her conservator or guardian.  Then you need not worry at all.  Good luck.

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