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What is a Kansas Power of Attorney?

A Kansas power of attorney is a legal form that acts as the authorization for an individual, referred to as the agent or the attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, real estate decisions, or estate decisions on behalf of the person granting this authority. A Kansas POA is most often used as an estate planning tool, but there are other instances when it is also 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.

KS POA Laws:

A Kansas power of attorney implies that the power of attorney form complies with Kansas Statutes Chapter 58, Article 6 of the Kansas Powers and Letters of Attorney Laws. K.S.A. 58 specifically outlines the parameters of a legally enforceable POA and ensures that the form, as well as its duties, are protected under the law.

According to the Attorney General's website, which offers a handy PDF, a POA:

  • Must be in writing.
  • Must be signed by the principal in the presence of a notary public.
  • Must be read by the principal.
  • The principal must be able to show that they understand what they are signing.
  • Specify every power granted to the agent.
  • Specify every limitation of the agent.

The principal can revoke the power of attorney as long as they are considered competent. Additionally, a POA is revoked when:

  • The principal becomes incompetent if the POA isn’t durable.
  • The principal dies.
  • The purpose of the POA is fulfilled.
  • The expiration date within the POA expired.

Why Would You Use a Kansas Power of Attorney Form?

There are several reasons why one person may want to use a Kansas power of attorney form to give another person the authority to make decisions related to their tangible belongings, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. Some of those reasons include:

  • Age, mental health reasons, or 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, have the proper power of attorney in place.
  • A person with a mental illness may need a different type of power of attorney than a person with a terminal illness.
  • A person with dependent children may need a different type of 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 power to make certain decisions.

  • Remember that in Kansas, the principal must state what the agent can and cannot do. Both the principal and the agent must understand these powers according to the Attorney General's website. A general POA loses its powers if the principal becomes incapacitated, if they die, or if the principal revokes it.

Kansas Durable Power of Attorney

A Kansas durable power of attorney is an "extended version" of a general power of attorney because it goes beyond the parameters of a general power of attorney.

  • The term "durable" comes from the fact that power continues over the principal if they become incapacitated.

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). Because the State of Kansas requires the principal to specifically list the powers the agent may and may not exercise, all POAs that comply with State law would technically meet the definition of a limited POA. The power of attorney is terminated if the principal becomes incapacitated, if the principal dies, if the principal revokes the document, if the purpose of the document is fulfilled, or if the expiration date listed in the POA has passed.

Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney

A durable healthcare power of attorney grants power to the agent to make important healthcare decisions on the principal's behalf shouldthey become incapacitated or unable to make such decisions.

  • While it does allow the agent to make medical care decisions, it does not allow the agent to make end-of-life decisions. According to Kansas Legal Services, a living will is needed for that. A healthcare power of attorney that isn’t durab;e would be made in Kansas by using a general power of attorney and following State law and specifically listing that the agent may make healthcare decisions only.

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 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 leave the country for a period of time. It may also be used if the minor child is temporarily traveling with or living with another adult.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

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

  • It has the flexibility to be either durable or non-durable. Since there are serious legal issues that can arise from using this type of POA, 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 Kansas Department of Revenue on behalf of the principal.

  • The official name of the form is the DO-10.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

A vehicle power of attorney, officially known as Form TR-41 allows the agent to buy, sell, and handle the necessary paperwork with the Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Vehicles on the principal's behalf.

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