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Types of Powers of Attorney in Arizona


The most common type of power of attorney (POA) in Arizona is the General power of attorney, which grants broad powers to handle financial and legal matters. But the Grand Canyon State also has other types available, focusing on different purposes like making healthcare-related decisions. Each POA must be notarized and, in some cases, witnessed in order to be legally binding in Arizona. Here’s a breakdown of the main types.

If you want help with your long-term estate planning, consider working with a financial advisor who can help protect your assets.

How a Power of Attorney Works

A POA is a legal document that grants one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on behalf of another person (the principal) in legal or financial matters. The scope of the authority granted can vary, ranging from broad, general powers to specific, limited actions.

A POA can be particularly useful for financial management. With a financial POA, the agent can handle banking transactions, pay bills and manage investments. This can also help elderly individuals or those with declining health. In terms of healthcare, a medical POA allows the agent to make decisions about medical treatments and care plans, ensuring that the principal’s healthcare preferences are followed if they are unable to communicate them.

The ability to create specific POAs depends on the jurisdiction that you’re residing in at the time you execute the document. Every state has specific requirements governing how these legal documents can operate. For example, Arizona has laws specific to medical or healthcare POAs, found in A.R.S. § 36-3221 to § 36-3224, which include requirements for creating a healthcare POA and the agent’s authority in making medical decisions on behalf of the principal.

Types of Powers of Attorney in Arizona

A couple in Arizona looking up the requirements to create a power of attorney.

In Arizona, there are several types of POAs that you can choose from. Here are four common types:

  1. General power of attorney: In Arizona, a general POA grants an individual, known as the agent, the authority to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of the principal. This legal document helps to ensure that financial matters are handled smoothly if the principal becomes incapacitated. Unlike other types of POA, a general POA in Arizona typically does not remain in effect if the principal is declared incompetent unless it is explicitly stated as a durable POA.
  2. Special power of attorney: Unlike a general POA, which covers a broad range of activities, a special POA is limited to particular situations, such as managing real estate transactions, handling financial matters, or making medical decisions. Arizona law requires clear, precise language to avoid any ambiguity in the agent’s authority.
  3. Parental power of attorney: A parental power of attorney allows parents to delegate their legal rights and responsibilities concerning their child to another adult. This tool can be useful in situations where parents are temporarily unable to care for their child due to military deployment, medical issues, or other significant reasons. The Arizona POA for minors is valid for up to six months and can be renewed if necessary.
  4. Medical power of attorney: A medical POA allows individuals in Arizona to designate someone to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. This legal instrument ensures that the person’s medical preferences are honored, even when they cannot communicate them. Arizona law also requires the inclusion of specific language acknowledging that the principal understands the document’s implications.

How to Create a Power of Attorney in Arizona

Creating a POA in Arizona is a straightforward process. However, like any legal process, you’ll need to pay close attention to the details when completing it.

First, determine which type of POA you need. Arizona recognizes several types, including durable, general and limited POAs. A durable POA remains in effect if you become incapacitated, while a general POA grants broad powers that cease upon incapacitation. Limited POAs grant specific powers for a set time or task.

Selecting a trustworthy agent, also known as an attorney-in-fact, is also important. This person will have significant control over your affairs, so choose someone reliable and capable of handling the responsibilities. In Arizona, the principal must also sign the POA in front of a notary public. The notary will verify your identity and witness the signing. This step validates the document.

After notarizing the POA, distribute copies to relevant parties, including your agent, financial institutions, and healthcare providers. Keeping these parties informed so the POA can be executed when needed.

Bottom Line

Clients meeting with a financial advisor at a cafe to discuss different types of powers of attorney in Arizona.

From general POAs to those that have a more specialized focus, Arizona’s statutes provide a comprehensive framework that governs the creation, execution and enforcement of each type. By adhering to the specific requirements outlined, individuals can appoint trusted agents to act on their behalf, safeguarding their interests and facilitating the management of their affairs.

Tips for Estate Planning

  • A financial advisor can help you create an estate plan to protect and distribute your assets. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Before starting your own planning, consider the potential dangers of DIY estate planning.

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