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Vermont Durable Power of Attorney Laws

While "living wills" are legally binding documents that indicate whether you wish to remain on life support after a serious illness or accident, the durable power of attorney grants authority to a named individual to act according to these wishes should you become incapacitated. Vermont durable power of attorney laws cover these types of scenarios and may also extend beyond a patient's death to permit an organ donation or to direct how one's remains are to be disposed of.

Durable Power Of Attorney Laws in Vermont

In the state of Vermont, one of the most important parts of creating a durable power of attorney is choosing an agent. The agent is the person you choose to carry out the duties you have outlined in the durable power of attorney.

How to Create a Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney must be in writing. It must name the person that you wish to act as your agent. The power of attorney must be signed in the presence of one (1) or more witnesses. The witness or witnesses must sign the document. The agent must sign the document.

You must bring it to a notary and sign it in the notary's presence. Most banks have a notary available to sign documents. Your agent's signature does not need to be notarized. Your agent can sign the document even if you are not present. You can choose to have your Power of Attorney take effect when it is signed, or when some future event occurs.

The basics of Vermont's durable power of attorney laws are highlighted below. See Wills and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care for a general overview.

Code Section Tit. 14 §3451, et seq. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts To make health care decisions for principal during periods of incapacity as certified in writing by principal's attending physician including withdrawal of consent to any care, treatment, service, or procedure or to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual's physical or mental condition; does not include consent to sterilization or admission to state institution
Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney
  • Signed;
  • In Writing;
  • One (1) or more witnesses;
  • Signed statement that principal understands a disclosure statement on durable powers of attorney.
Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney

Principal's current wishes supersede directives at all times. Revocable by

  1. Notifying agent or health care provider orally or in writing or any other act evidencing specific intent to revoke;
  2. Executing a subsequent durable power of attorney;
  3. Divorce, if former spouse was principal's agent
Immunity for Attending Physician No civil, criminal, or professional liability if physician acts in good faith; no immunity for failure to exercise due care in provision of services.
Validity from State-to-State Effective if in compliance with the law of the state in which it was executed
If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney Unwilling physician must inform agent and principal if possible and assist in selecting another physician willing to honor agent's directive

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Vermont estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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