VA adds confusion to powers of attorney

Signatures, Signing VA Documents, and Powers of Attorney

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JohnHancockThe issue of signing VA forms and documents should be a straightforward process. But it’s not. Furthermore, the VA uses, and legal terms in quirky ways sometimes. A good example is the term “power of attorney.”

Typically, the phrase “power of attorney” refers to the legal document signed by a person to empower another person to act on their behalf. Usually, the person signing the document is referred to as the “principal.” The person empowered to act on behalf of the principal is ordinarily known as the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.”

But the VA does it differently. It often refers to the agent or attorney-on-fact as the “power of attorney.” I know of no other federal agency or legal jurisdiction that uses the terminology in this way.

So, when listening to the audio program below, keep in mind that I have used the terminology in the same way that the VA does.

This audio program tries to untangle some of the complexity that surrounds signatures, who can sign what, and the use of powers of attorney.


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