How to Get Power of Attorney in AZ
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf. In Arizona, obtaining power of attorney is a straightforward process that can provide peace of mind and ensure your wishes are respected. This article will guide you through the steps of getting power of attorney in AZ and answer some common questions you may have.
1. Determine the type of power of attorney you need:
Before proceeding, it’s important to understand the different types of power of attorney available in Arizona. These include general, limited, durable, and springing power of attorney. Each type has specific purposes and limitations, so choose the one that best suits your needs.
2. Choose an agent:
An agent is the person you appoint to act on your behalf. This can be a family member, friend, or trusted advisor. Ensure that the person you choose is reliable, responsible, and willing to take on the responsibilities associated with being an agent.
3. Draft the power of attorney document:
While it’s possible to create a power of attorney document on your own, it’s recommended to seek legal advice to ensure it complies with Arizona laws. An attorney can help you draft a document that clearly outlines the powers you wish to grant your agent and any limitations or conditions.
4. Sign the document:
In Arizona, a power of attorney document must be signed in the presence of a notary public and two witnesses. The witnesses should not be the agent or any other person named in the document. The notary public will then acknowledge the signatures, making the document legally valid.
5. Distribute copies:
Provide copies of the signed power of attorney document to your agent, family members, and other relevant parties. Keep the original in a safe place, such as a secure home safe or a safety deposit box.
6. Inform relevant institutions:
To ensure a smooth transition, inform financial institutions, healthcare providers, and other relevant parties about the existence of the power of attorney document and provide them with a copy. This will allow your agent to carry out their duties without unnecessary complications.
7. Review and update as necessary:
It’s important to periodically review your power of attorney document to ensure it still reflects your wishes and circumstances. Life events such as marriage, divorce, or the passing of a loved one may require updates or changes to the document.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Can I have multiple agents?
Yes, Arizona law allows for co-agents, where multiple individuals act as agents simultaneously. However, it’s crucial to specify whether they must act jointly (unanimous agreement required) or severally (each agent can act independently).
2. Can I revoke a power of attorney?
Yes, as long as you are mentally competent, you can revoke a power of attorney at any time. Notify your agent in writing and retrieve all copies of the document. Inform relevant institutions about the revocation to ensure it is honored.
3. Can a power of attorney be used after death?
No, a power of attorney becomes invalid upon the death of the principal (the person who granted the power). After death, the executor of the estate takes over the responsibility.
4. Do I need a lawyer to get power of attorney?
While it’s not a legal requirement, seeking the advice of an attorney can ensure that your power of attorney document is valid, comprehensive, and tailored to your specific needs.
5. Can I use a power of attorney to make medical decisions?
Yes, a durable power of attorney for healthcare allows your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to make them yourself.
6. When does a power of attorney become effective?
A power of attorney can become effective immediately upon signing or upon a specified trigger event, such as the principal’s incapacity. This is known as a springing power of attorney.
7. Can I create a power of attorney if I have a living will?
Yes, a living will and a power of attorney for healthcare serve different purposes. A living will outlines your end-of-life medical wishes, while a power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. It’s advisable to have both documents in place.
In conclusion, obtaining power of attorney in Arizona involves selecting the appropriate type, choosing a trustworthy agent, drafting the document, and following legal procedures. Seek legal advice if needed and ensure that copies are distributed to relevant parties. Periodically review and update the document to reflect any changes in circumstances. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your wishes are protected and your best interests are represented in times of need.