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What is an Arizona Power of Attorney?

 

An Arizona power of attorney is a legal form that serves as the authorization for an individual, also known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial, healthcare, real estate, or estate decisions on behalf of the person granting permission. An Arizona power of attorney is often used as an estate planning tool, but there are other instances where it is also a very useful tool.

 

Quick Reference:

 

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

 

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

 

AZ POA Laws:

An Arizona power of attorney must comply with Arizona’s power of attorney law to make it legally enforceable.

Here are some unique facts about Arizona's power of attorney provisions:

  • The agent must be 18 years of age or older and of sound mind.
  • The document must be signed, witnessed, and notarized by a notary public.
  • A power of attorney document may be recorded as an official public document.
  • This act enables those who need verification of its existence, such as banks, contractors, and attorneys, to easily verify the document.
  • A power of attorney document must be recorded if it allows the agent to transfer real property.

A principal may determine which powers an agent may and may not exercise on their behalf. The principal also has the right to revoke the power of attorney.

A power of attorney is terminated in Arizona when:

  • It is revoked by the principal with a written and notarized document. The principal cannot be incapacitated.
  • The power of attorney has fulfilled its purpose and the expiration date within the document has passed.
  • The principal dies.
  • The power of attorney is not durable and the principal becomes incapacitated.
  • The agent dies or resigns and there is no co-agent or successor agent.
  • The power of attorney is revoked via court order.

Why Would You Use an Arizona Power of Attorney Form?

There are several reasons why someone would use an Arizona power of attorney 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 affairs handled in specific ways. It is generally advised that everyone, including those with a terminal illness and those in perfect health, establish the proper powers of attorney to have their matters appropriately handled and their wishes fulfilled.
  • A person with a mental illness may require a different type of power of attorney than a person with a terminal illness.
  • A person with dependent children may require a different power of attorney than a person without dependent children.

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 were to become disabled or incapacitated.

  • Keep in mind that the POA begins the minute that the principal signs the document. Again, this highlights the importance of seeking legal advice. In Arizona, the principal still retains the ability to revoke a durable power of attorney as long as they have not been declared incapacitated.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants a single individual to handle all listed matters on behalf of the principal.

  • This could include handling bank accounts or other financial matters, making medical decisions, or making other decisions. It is important for the principal to clearly explain the powers the agent does and does not have. However, this authority is terminated if the principal become incapacitated or if they die.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney grants power to the agent to make medical or health care decisions on the grantor’s behalf.

Minor Child Power of Attorney

A minor child power of attorney allows a parent or guardian to grant decision-making rights over their child to a temporary guardian in case the parent or guardian may not be present during a medical emergency.

  • This form is generally used if the parent must leave the country for a period of time or if the child is temporarily traveling with or residing with an adult. In Arizona, this period designates temporary guardianship to the attorney-in-fact for a maximum of six months, unless the principal is on active military duty. In this case, the period may be extended up to one year.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

A real estate power of attorney allows the agent to sell, purchase, or manage real estate transactions on the principal's behalf.

  • The State of Arizona requires this type of power of attorney to be recorded to be an official public record.

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 power to handle finances or make medical decisions, but will not have authority to do other things such as complete real estate transactions (depending on what the principal decides). Just like a general power of attorney, the authority terminates if the principal dies or becomes incapacitated.

Tax Power of Attorney

A tax power of attorney requires that the principal fill out Form 285-I to appoint a specific person that will handle the preparation and filing of tax documents on their behalf to the Arizona Department of Revenue.

  • It also authorizes the agent to answer questions on behalf of the principal.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

A vehicle power of attorney allows the agent to handle elements of buying and selling vehicles on the principal’s behalf, as well as submitting necessary paperwork to the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles.

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