Jan 20, 2023

Is my senior parent’s power of attorney valid in a different state?

Manny Cominsky

Power of attorney is an incredibly powerful and useful tool for adult children or other loved ones to help manage the financial and healthcare related affairs of their senior parents. However, because adult children often do not live in the same state as their senior parents, one question that is always popping up when it comes to senior parents and power of attorney is what to do when a power of attorney is signed by parties in one state, and then one of the parties moves to another state. While you should always consult a lawyer about your own particular power of attorney situation, thankfully in most cases a power of attorney signed in one state will remain valid even after the agent or principal has moved to another state. That being said, it is still very important to make sure that you are aware of any risks that can occur when you move states following signing a power of attorney.

Power of attorney overview

As a refresher, power of attorney is a common, everyday legal instrument whereby one person (the principal) grants another person (their agent or proxy) the power to do some specified series of tasks, for some specified period of time, on their behalf. Power of attorney can be used to fulfill a task that is limited in both scope and duration, like helping your senior parents to sell their house, or might involve a longer and more open-ended grant of authority like when an adult child handles all of their senior parents daily medical obligations, like paying bills and taxes or scheduling doctors.

Make sure to consult a lawyer before signing or changing your power of attorney documents.

There are many different reasons why power of attorney may be appropriate for you and your senior parent, and it is important to always consult a legal or elder care professional before discussing or signing a power of attorney with your senior parent. Along with having valuable insight on local laws and regulations that could affect the scope of any power of attorney or the steps necessary to successfully execute it, professionals who routinely work with seniors and their families often have great tips for discussing and thinking about power of attorney.

What happens if I move to another state?

The first question that often arises for adult children who have power of attorney for their senior parents is “what happens if I move out of the state where I signed the power of attorney?” For obvious reasons, oftentimes one of the most likely people for a senior to grant power of attorney to is a family member who lives nearby, often in the same state. But what happens to the power of attorney if this family member moves out of state?

Luckily, in most cases if you sign a power of attorney while living in one state, and then change your residence to another state, the power of attorney will still be valid after your move. While power of attorney is generally governed by each states law, most states have around the country have adopted some form of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. The Uniform Power of Attorney Act, whose most recent version was adopted in 2006, is a set of laws regarding power of attorney that was created by the Uniform Laws Commission, a group of lawyers and judges from around the country, with the goal of giving states a sensible, shared framework on which to base their power of attorney laws. The goal of this Uniform Power of Attorney Act is to make sure that people’s power of attorney documents remain valid even as they move from state to state.

As of this writing, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act is currently adopted in some form by 28 states, meaning that if you’re moving there’s a good chance you will be moving to a Uniform Power of Attorney Act state. The Uniform Power of Attorney Act has many provisions aimed to protect both principals and agents, as well as to make durable power of attorney a flexible, low-cost, and safe way for people to grant decision-making power to someone else.

Consulting a local attorney after you move can help make sure your power of attorney complies with all local laws and regulations.

That being said, even with the existence of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act as a guide for state legislators, each state is still free to (and in fact does) enact its own specific power of attorney provisions. That’s why if you move after signing a power of attorney document, it is generally considered a best practice to consult a lawyer and see whether it makes sense to sign a new power of attorney document now that you have changed your residence. Along with making sure that your new power of attorney document complies with all local laws and regulations, it can make sense for practical reasons to update your senior parent’s power of attorney document to make sure that local institutions like banks, lawyers, or doctors easily recognize and accept your power of attorney document. 

What happens if my senior parent moves to another state? 

While it may be less common for a much older parent to move states, relocating for retirement is certainly an incredibly common phenomenon and many seniors will relocated after having signed a power of attorney document. This raises the question - is my senior parent’s power of attorney document still valid if they move to another state?

Thankfully, your senior parent’s power of attorney should still be valid even after they move states (in the same way that you moving to a new state would, generally, not invalidate your signed power of attorney). That being said it is still a great idea for your senior parent to consult a local attorney after moving to ensure that their power of attorney (as well as any other related estate planning documents) are up to date and recognizable to your senior parent’s local service providers like their doctors or financial planners.

Can I sign power of attorney from a different state?

As discussed, it’s often a good idea to sign a new power of attorney once you or your senior parent has moved to a new state. This raises the natural question, can you sign a power of attorney for your senior parent who lives in one state, while you live in another state? As with all things power of attorney, the answer to this question will generally depend on the law of the state in which your senior parent resides. 

One of the most common sets of issues that adult children will run into when trying to sign a power of attorney for a senior parent who lives in another state is that states will often have different requirements on who must be present when signing the power of attorney documents to make them valid. Some states, for example, require the power of attorney to also be signed by a notary public, while other states require that both the principal (your senior parent) and the agent (you) are present when the power of attorney document is signed. Based upon the specific requirements of whatever state your parent lives in, you may need to organize getting either a notary public (or yourself!) to your parent’s state to sign and finalize the documents.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

image caption

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Libero lorem augue neque sed vitae odio consectetur viverra adipiscing. A in viverra sapien, pharetra. Ut nibh fringilla duis sed tellus et eleifend sed feugiat. Ut cursus cursus commodo enim tortor ante etiam. Ultrices adipiscing urna, dignissim viverra integer. Sed dui leo praesent mi, bibendum ultricies diam pharetra. Sed sit facilisi libero, ornare sagittis facilisis purus. Enim, commodo nulla erat amet at ut. Felis, rutrum fringilla consectetur enim consectetur nunc odio. Semper et ipsum, sit fringilla. Auctor arcu, purus mauris arcu massa placerat proin ut. Nunc sit hendrerit enim id ut in aenean amet sagittis. Eget odio integer in pellentesque pulvinar netus.
Adipiscing sit aliquet in massa aliquet ligula auctor gravida arcu. Nisi, at adipiscing consequat, morbi. Varius fringilla non massa lacus cras. Lectus morbi eget vel vel semper.

Read More


There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

Read more


There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

Read more


There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

Read more