Does the outdated address of the person giving the POA affect its legality?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 15, 2016
Mary k. asked...

I hold the POA for my father. He is in a board and care home. Recently I moved and my father moved to a different board and care home. The old addresses are in the POA for both of us. Does the POA need to be updated for every move? Does an address even need to be listed in the POA?


Expert Answers

You want to know if a change of address by a person giving a power of attorney, (called the "Principal," in this case your father, affects the POA's legality. No, it does not.

I know of no law the requires that an address be listed on a power of attorney. And I see no reason, in law or logic, why a Principal's change of address should have any affect on a POA.

Community Answers

Joseph l. matthews answered...

Putting addresses in a Power of Attorney document is purely for the purpose of helping to identify the people involved. A grant of POA does not lose its validity simply because one or more of the people named in it have moved to a different address than the one listed in the document. It's the person who is granting or being granted the authority, not the location.

However, a POA document should be as up-to-date as possible precisely because it will make it easier to enforce it -- that is, to have other people recognize its validity -- if it's easy to identify the people involved. So, if your father is still mentally competent to make a POA document, you could draw up an identical new POA but with the correct addresses and have him execute it, with whatever notarization or other authentication is required in your state, to replace the one with the old addresses. Then distribute the new document to all those who now hold the old one, including the board and care home, with a cover letter from you explaining that the new document changes nothing but the addresses, for identification purposes.

If your father is no longer mentally competent to execute a new POA with the new addresses, there are some things you can do to help support the continued validity of the old one. First, gather and keep in a file documents that identify you and your father at your old addresses -- driver licenses, bills or other documents relating to the property, official city, county, state, or federal tax or other government documents, or anything else. Keep them accessible for future use, if anyone should ever question whether you and your father are the people named in the POA. Make copies of one or more of these documents, plus copies of similar documents showing your current addresses. Then send or give them, along with a simple letter of explanation that you are just notifying of an address change, to anyone who now has a copy of the POA (such as the board and care home, and your father's doctor and bank).

Mark de solla price answered...

As someone who married into a large Italian Catholic family with dozens of first cousins and perhaps half a dozen people with the same or similar name -- adding the POA's ADDRESS has been a great way to clarify what person was intended. I also suggest describing how that person is related, for example, Joe's sister, Joe's grand-daughter, etc. Including mailing address, phone number and e-mail address all make it easier to contact such a person at time of emergency, even if many of them have become outdated.

-- Mark