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What is an Arkansas Power of Attorney?

An Arkansas 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 Arkansas POA is often used for estate planning. Yet, there are other instances where 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.

AR POA Laws:

An Arkansas power of attorney form is a legal document that must comply with the requirements of Title 28, Subtitle 5, Chapter 68 of the Arkansas Code (Uniform Power of Attorney Act). The statute outlines these basic rules:

  • The agent will have authority to make decisions on behalf of the principal with respect to their property and finances, depending on what the principal states the agent can and cannot do. However, the statutory POA does not allow for healthcare decisions.
  • The principal must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The principal must be of sound mind and understand what they are signing.
  • The agent is entitled to reasonable compensation.
  • If the agent is unable or unwilling to act on behalf of the principal, the power of attorney will come to an end, unless a successor agent is named in the Special Instructions.
  • The power of attorney is effective immediately, unless stated otherwise in the Special Instructions.

As stated, the principal can specifically explain which powers the agent can and cannot use on their behalf. The principal also has the right to revoke (terminate) the power of attorney as long as the principal is competent. This is true even if the power of attorney is durable. Additionally, the POA terminates when:

  • The principal dies.
  • The principal becomes incapacitated and the POA is not durable.
  • The power of attorney’s purpose is fulfilled.
  • The power of attorney states that it ends on a specific date and that date passes.
  • The agent dies, becomes incapacitated, or resigns.
  • The principal and agent are married and they file for legal separation, divorce, or annulment and the power of attorney does not state that the principal-agent relationship shall remain intact.

Why Would You Use an Arkansas Power of Attorney Form?

There are several reasons why someone would want to use an Arkansas power of attorney to provide authorization to give another person the ability to make decisions related to their tangible personal property, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. Some of those reasons include:

  • Their age, mental health concerns, or the diagnosis of an illness. They may want their affairs handled in specific ways. It is generally advised that everyone, including those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness and those who are in perfect health, establish the proper powers of attorney to ensure their matters are handled and that their wishes are fulfilled.
  • Someone diagnosed with a mental illness may need a different power of attorney than someone diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Someone with dependent children may need a different power of attorney than someone without dependent children.  

Every person’s need for a power of attorney can vary. There are many different ones available. Before choosing one, seek legal advice to make sure you get the right one to fulfill your needs. This will also give you the opportunity to ask how to revoke the POA should it become necessary for you to do so. Here are the most commonly used powers of attorney in Arkansas.

General Power of Attorney

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

  • However, this authorization terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated, dies, or if the principal 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 in specified situations.

  • The term "durable" comes from the fact that this authorization continues if the principal were to become disabled or incapacitated. The principal can revoke a durable POA as long as they are competent.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney grants power to the agent to make important health care decisions on the principal’s behalf.

  • This type of power of attorney can be durable or nondurable. When it is not durable, it ends if the principal is declared incapacitated or incompetent. When it is durable, the POA continues if the principal is declared incapacitated or incompetent, but it still has its limitations. It cannot be used by the agent to make end-of-life decisions on behalf of the principal.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney grants 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 decides). Just like a general power of attorney, the authority expires if the principal dies or becomes incapacitated. A limited power of attorney also terminates once its purpose is fulfilled.

Parental Power of Attorney

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

  • This form is generally used if the parent or guardian must leave the country for a period of time. It is also used if the child is temporarily traveling or living with another adult who is not their parent or guardian.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

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

  • This POA can be durable or nondurable. Because of its long-reaching effects and potential legal consequences, the principal should seek legal advice before using it.

Tax Power of Attorney

A tax power of attorney allows the agent, generally a qualified individual such as an accountant, to prepare and submit tax information to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration on behalf of the principal.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

A vehicle power of attorney allows the agent to buy, sell, and handle the necessary paperwork with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Motor Vehicle on the principal’s behalf.

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