Will my POA still be good if my name has changed?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 06, 2016
Sister b asked...

I have a power of attorny for my father. when it was done in 1990 it was done under my then married name. I have remarried and want to make sure the POA is still good as long as I present my marriage certificate with it?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

The power of attorney appointing you as your father's agent should still be valid"”and from a legal standpoint, you shouldn't have a problem getting it enforced if the need arises as long as you're able to provide documentation, such as your marriage certificate, as you mentioned.

However, your question does shine the light on another reality: the desirability of reviewing and executing new documents periodically. Most experts recommend that people making powers of attorney take a sharp eye to them every year or so to make sure they still reflect their wishes. This may be especially important in powers of attorney for healthcare, since available medical procedures and preferences about them often change over time.

So if your father is willing and able, you might encourage him to execute a new power of attorney"”just to be sure the document still reflects his wishes and to ease over any bumps you may run into if the person responsible for enforcing the DPA seems flapped or flummoxed by the differing names you've had.

However, if your father isn't able or interested in finalizing a new document, rest assured that the old one should have you covered.