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What is an Alaska Power of Attorney?

An Alaska power of attorney is a legal form that acts as the authorization for an individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, real estate decisions, or estate decisions on behalf of the person granting this authority. An Alaska power of attorney is often used for estate planning. There are other instances when a POA is a useful tool.

Quick Reference:

The person granting permission is referred to as the principal, donor, or grantor.

The person receiving authorization is known as the agent or the attorney-in-fact.

AK POA Laws:

Power of attorney forms are state-specific. An Alaska power of attorney must comply with Alaska statutes and be notarized by a notary public to be legally recognized. The Alaska Court System provides a PDF of a statutory form power of attorney. However, before you decide to use a power of attorney, you should understand that the document shall become effective generally when you sign it unless it is a springing power of attorney so it is important that you get competent advice from a law firm.

The statute regarding power of attorney outlines a lengthy guideline to composing a legally enforceable power of attorney document. It creates what is known as a statutory power of attorney. While the document is never turned in to any legal authority and is kept in the possession of the signees, it is very much a legal document and is to be presented when performing power of attorney duties. Title 13, Chapter 26 of the Alaska Statutes outline:

  • The power of attorney may grant consent or refusal of consent to medical care or pain relief for the principal. However, they may not authorize the termination of life-sustaining procedures.
  • The power of attorney must be essentially the same as the form found in the statute.
  • A power of attorney may be revoked by the principal unless they are declared mentally incompetent.
  • The principal has the legal right to determine which powers the agent does or does not have.
  • The power of attorney document must be notarized.

A power of attorney is also terminated when:

  • The agent dies or steps down and there is no successor agent or co-agent named.
  • The purpose of the power of attorney is fulfilled and the expiration date within the document has passed.
  • The power of attorney is not durable and the principal is declared incapacitated or mentally incompetent.
  • The principal dies.

Why Would You Use an Alaska Power of Attorney Form?

There are many reasons why someone would use an Alaska power of attorney form to give someone the authority to make decisions related to their tangible personal property, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. Some of those reasons include:

  • Age, mental health reasons, and illnesses. They may want their matters handled in their specific ways. It is generally advised everyone, including those with a terminal illness and those in perfect health, establish the appropriate powers of attorney to have their matters appropriately addressed and their wishes fulfilled.
  • A person with a mental illness may require a different power of attorney than a person with a terminal illness.
  • A person with dependent children may need a different power of attorney than a person who does not have dependent children.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants an agent the ability to make decisions on behalf of the principal.

  • It could be banking transactions, handling business affairs, or anything else. However, this power is terminated when the principal becomes incapacitated, dies, or revokes the document.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is used to allow an agent to act on the behalf of the principal.

  • The term "durable" comes from the fact that this authorization continues if the principal becomes disabled or incapacitated. Alaska Legal Aid provides a free PDF for a durable power of attorney.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney, also known as a special power of attorney, has limited power to whatever the principal specifies.

  • In many cases, an agent will have the power to handle finances or make medical decisions, but will not have the authority to do other things such as sell property (depending on what the principal states). Just like a general power of attorney, the authority terminates if the principal dies, becomes incapacitated, or revokes the POA.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney grants power to the healthcare agent to make medical or health decisions on the principal’s behalf, but it cannot be used to make end-of-life decisions.

Minor Children Power of Attorney

Known in the state of Alaska as form PG-700, a minor children power of attorney allows a parent or guardian to grant decision-making rights over their child to a temporary guardian in the case that the parent or guardian may not be present during a medical emergency.

  • This form is generally used if the parent or guardian must provide temporary guardianship of the child to another adult for a period of time or if the minor child will be traveling without the parent or guardian and with another adult. In Alaska, this period may be for no more than one year.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

A real estate power of attorney allows the agent to buy, sell, or manage real estate on the principal’s behalf.

  • Because of the serious nature and potential ramifications of this type of power of attorney, you should seek legal advice before using this document.

Tax Power of Attorney

Initiated by Form 774 POA, a tax power of attorney form allows a capable individual, generally an accountant, to handle all tax preparation and submission needs on the principal’s behalf.

  • Once executed, the agent can speak with the Tax Division of the Alaska Department of Revenue regarding any of the specific tax types checked on the form.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

The vehicle power of attorney, officially known as Form 847, grants the agent power of attorney to handle all documents relating to the title and registration of the principal’s vehicle.

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