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What is an Alabama Power of Attorney?

The power of attorney form serves as a document that authorizes a close friend or family member to make decisions on your behalf. The power of attorney form is a powerful document, and it is imperative that whoever you grant power of attorney to, is trustworthy. These forms are often used by individuals who would like their affairs handled should they fall ill, or leave the country for an extended period of time, but can be used for a variety of reasons.

Quick Reference

If you are granting permission for someone to act on your behalf: you are the principal, or grantor

If you are the person receiving authorization: you are the agent or the attorney-in-fact

State Specific:

An Alabama power of attorney is a power of attorney form that complies with Title 26, Chapter 1A of Alabama law. Alabama has extensive guidelines for every aspect of the power of attorney process, from beginning to termination.

See the link above for an in-depth view of the exact laws and guidelines, however, a few key laws are listed below.

  • An Alabama power of attorney does not authorize an agent to make health care decisions for you. Health care decisions are covered by other applicable law.
  • Your agent is entitled to reimbursement for reasonable expenses and reasonable compensation you state otherwise under special instruction.
  • The power of attorney form only authorizes one person as your agent. If you wish to have more than one person as your power of attorney, you may name a co-agent under Special Instructions.
  • If your attorney-in-fact in unable or becomes unwilling to make decisions on your behalf, the power of attorney will be terminated unless you have named a successor.

Why Would You Use an Alabama Power of Attorney Form?

There are many reasons why an individual would use an Alabama power of attorney. Sometimes a person who is elderly, mentally ill, or of failing health may need someone to handle their affairs. Elderly individuals who may suffer from Alzheimers or dementia and may no longer be able to handle affairs such as paying bills, or buying or selling property. It is important to remember that in Alabama, a power of attorney does not grant the power to make medical decisions, as those are governed by other applicable laws.

A power of attorney form is not only for the sick, or elderly. Power of attorney forms are recommended for the perfectly healthy as well. There are multiple reasons why one would want their agent to handle their affairs, and one of those is business. If the grantor owns a business, then it is important that the agent have the power to run and execute important tasks that involve the company, such as paying employees or vendors. However, as with all power of attorney forms, it is imperative that you clearly state which powers your agent does and does not have. If you do not want your agent to have the power to fire or hire employees, then you must clearly state this in your document. Additionally, Alabama law states that the agent is entitled to reasonable compensation. Be sure that you clearly state what that compensation will be to avoid confusion down the road.

No one knows what will happen tomorrow, and it is always best to be well prepared in the event of an accident. No matter the situation, one individual’s power of attorney needs will vary from the next. Accordingly, there are many types of power of attorney. Here are some of the most common:

General

A general power of attorney grants a single individual to handle all financial matters on behalf of the grantor. In Alabama, a general power of attorney only grants the agent power over finances. However this authorization would become null and void should the principal become incapacitated, or if he or she were to pass away.

Durable

A durable power of attorney is used to allow an agent to act on the behalf of the grantor in specified situations. Similar to a general power of attorney, a durable power of attorney gives the agent power over the grantors finances. The term "durable" comes from the fact that this authorization continues if the grantor were to become disabled or incapacitated.

Limited/Special

A limited or special power of attorney involves the agent being granted specific powers. These powers are often specifically described, limited the powers of the agent. For example, the agent may be granted powers to access only specific checking accounts, and forbidden to execute specific tasks such as selling property, or real estate.

Parental

A parental power of attorney is popular among parents who must leave the U.S for extended periods of time. In Alabama, this period must be less than one year. This type of power of attorney allows an individual you trust to make important decisions on your behalf in relation to your children. Some parents express concern that a parental power of attorney will strip them of their parental rights, however, these types of documents can be set in motion with "triggers" which set the authority in effect if something specific happens. However, it is best to seek qualified legal advice to make the best decision for you and your children.

Revocation of Power of Attorney

This document cancels the power of attorney relationship between the grantor and the agent.

Tax Power of Attorney

This power of attorney, initiated with Form 2848A, allows the an agent, perhaps an accountant or other capable person to handle all tax submissions on the grantors behalf.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

This form, officially known as form MVT 5-13, allows an agent to handle all affairs in relation to the grantors vehicle with the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division.

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