Power of Attorney

In Arizona, a Power of Attorney (“PoA”) is a document which grants authority to a person to act on behalf of another person.  The person who grants the authority is known as the “Principal.”  The person who receives the authorization to act is known as the “Agent” or the “attorney-in-fact.”   An attorney-in-fact is not the same as an attorney at law (lawyer).

A “durable” power of attorney is one which becomes effective when signed, and remains effective even if the Principal becomes disabled, incapacitated, incompetent or unable to manage his or her affairs.  All PoAs cease to be effective upon death: when the Principal dies, the PoA dies also.

Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”), Section (§) 14-5501 contains the requirements for a durable power of attorney:

14-5501. Durable power of attorney; creation; validity

  1. A durable power of attorney is a written instrument by which a principal designates another person as the principal’s agent. The instrument shall contain words that demonstrate the principal’s intent that the authority conferred in the durable power of attorney may be exercised:
  2. If the principal is subsequently a person with a disability or incapacitated.
  3. Regardless of how much time has elapsed, unless the instrument states a definite termination time.
  4. The written instrument may demonstrate the principal’s intent required by subsection A of this section using either of the following statements or similar language:
  5. “This power of attorney is not affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal or lapse of time.”
  6. “This power of attorney is effective on the disability or incapacity of the principal.”
  7. A power of attorney executed in another jurisdiction of the United States is valid in this state if the power of attorney was validly executed in the jurisdiction in which it was created.
  8. Except as provided in section 28-370, an adult, known as the principal, may designate another adult, known as the agent, to make financial decisions on the principal’s behalf by executing a written power of attorney that satisfies all of the following requirements:
  9. Contains language that clearly indicates that the principal intends to create a power of attorney and clearly identifies the agent.
  10. Is signed or marked by the principal or signed in the principal’s name by some other individual in the principal’s conscious presence and at the principal’s direction.
  11. Is witnessed by a person other than the agent, the agent’s spouse, the agent’s children or the notary public.
  12. Is executed and attested by its acknowledgment by the principal and by an affidavit of the witness before a notary public and evidenced by the notary public’s certificate, under official seal, in substantially the following form: [form omitted].

A PoA may be general or limited.  Limited PoAs may be limited as to duration (time) or as to scope of the authorization.  PoAs may embrace a few specific powers or multiple separate powers.  PoAs may be “durable,” “springing” or for a specific purpose such as health care.  

A “springing power” of attorney is one which does not become effective until and unless some future event occurs.

For help with an Arizona Power of Attorney, contact us.