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How To Make a Power of Attorney in Alaska FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Madison Hess, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 09, 2024

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A power of attorney is a helpful legal document when you have a sudden incapacity and can’t manage your legal or financial affairs. Learn about power of attorney documents and how to create a valid power of attorney in the state of Alaska.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows one person, known as the principal, to appoint another person, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the principal. You can find the rules for Alaska’s power of attorney documents in § 13.26.600 to § 13.26.695 of the Alaska statutes.

There are different types of power of attorney documents used for different purposes. A financial power of attorney allows an agent to make legal and financial decisions. A health care power of attorney, called an advance health care directive in Alaska, allows an agent to make medical decisions and follow instructions for end-of-life treatment and care.

What if you are suddenly unable to manage your affairs and don’t have a power of attorney? Your family members must then petition a court for a conservatorship. A court then appoints a conservator to make decisions for you, which you may not like. Having a power of attorney with your named agent avoids having to go through a conservatorship process, saving your family time and money.

Who Can Be My Agent?

You can choose who you want as your agent in Alaska as long as they are at least 18 years old and competent. You can name a family member, friend, or professional advisor. When choosing your power of attorney agent, look for someone trustworthy, organized, and responsible. Your agent has a fiduciary duty to act in the principal’s best interest and avoid conflicts of interest, but they have broad power over a principal’s assets and property.

You don’t want to name co-agents in your power of attorney. If your co-agents must act jointly and disagree, nothing will be done. If your co-agents can act independently, they may contradict each other’s actions. Instead, name one agent as your primary agent and another as the backup or successor agent.

What Can My Agent Do in Alaska?

You are in charge of what you want your agent to do on your behalf. Typical tasks are bill paying, managing real estate, and making financial decisions. In your power of attorney document, you can give your agent the authority to handle the following:

  • Real estate transactions
  • Transactions involving tangible personal property, chattels, and goods (your possessions)
  • Bonds, shares, and commodities transactions
  • Banking transactions
  • Business operating transactions
  • Insurance transactions
  • Estate transactions
  • Retirement plans
  • Claims and litigation
  • Personal relationships and affairs
  • Benefits from government programs and military service
  • Records, reports, and statements
  • Voter registration and absentee ballot requests

However, there are certain powers that you must expressly authorize. Some of these powers may allow your agent to reduce your estate in order to minimize your estate taxes or qualify you for government benefits like Medicaid. These are the powers to:

  • Create, amend, revoke, or terminate a living trust
  • Make a gift
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • Revoke a transfer on death deed
  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Delegate authority granted under the power of attorney
  • Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Exercise authority over content of electronic communications

Decide what you want your agent to handle and talk to them about your expectations for handling your money and property.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Alaska?

A durable power of attorney remains effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated. This means the power of attorney does not end if the principal can no longer make decisions. For a power of attorney to be durable, it must include language of durability, for example, a statement like “this document shall not be affected by my subsequent incapacity.”

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

A power of attorney in Alaska becomes effective immediately upon execution unless the document specifies otherwise. A POA could be “springing” where it is effective upon the principal’s incapacitation.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

A power of attorney ends when the principal dies or revokes their POA. Other events terminate a power of attorney, such as the incapacity of the principal if the POA is non-durable or if the power of attorney’s purpose is accomplished.

Your POA also ends if your agent dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated, and you did not name a successor agent. If your agent is your spouse and you end the marriage, your agent’s authority automatically ends.

Does Alaska Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

Yes. Under §13.26.645, Alaska provides a statutory form for a power of attorney. However, you are not required to use this statutory form. There are other options for creating a power of attorney, such as doing it yourself or hiring an estate planning attorney.

Can I Make My Own Power of Attorney in Alaska?

Yes. You can make your power of attorney in Alaska. Many people looking for self-help options use online power of attorney forms that conform to Alaska’s legal requirements. If you have questions about making a power of attorney, consult an attorney for legal advice.

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How Do I Make My Power of Attorney Valid in Alaska?

To make your power of attorney valid, you must follow the execution requirements under §13-26-600. You must sign your power of attorney or, if you are physically unable, direct someone to sign it on your behalf and in your conscious presence. You must sign your document in the presence of a notary public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments.

Do I Have to Notarize My Power of Attorney in Alaska?

Yes, under §13.26.600, a notary public must attest to the principal’s signature on a power of attorney.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

After signing your POA, keep the original in a secure location and give copies to your agent and anyone else who may need it. A financial institution may ask your agent to sign an affidavit or agent certification form in which they certify that your power of attorney is effective and they have the authority to act as your agent.

Does a Power of Attorney Agent Get Paid in Alaska?

In Alaska, your agent may be entitled to reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred while servicing under your power of attorney. Your agent may receive reasonable compensation for their time if you provide for it in your power of attorney.

Is My Alaska Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. Generally, other states will honor an Alaska power of attorney that is created and executed according to Alaskan law.

Can I Revoke My Alaska Power of Attorney?

Yes. If you are competent, you may revoke your power of attorney at any time. To revoke your power of attorney, make a written statement of revocation and give that statement to your agent and any other parties that relied on the original POA.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Alaska?

In addition to a financial power of attorney, there are other estate planning documents to consider when completing your estate plan.

An advance health care directive incorporates a medical power of attorney and a living will. In your directive, you name an agent to advocate for you when you can’t. They manage your medical information, speak with providers, and make healthcare decisions on your behalf. You can include your wishes for life-sustaining measures you want to be given or withheld when you have an end-stage illness or terminal condition.

last will and testament is a legal document for how you want your estate managed and distributed. You name a personal representative to handle your estate and identify beneficiaries of your property. You can also name who you want to care for your minor children. Without a will, a probate court follows state intestacy laws to distribute your property and decides who cares for your children. When making a will in Alaska, you must follow the legal requirements for formation and execution.

Fortunately, with online estate planning templates, it is easy to create a valid Alaska power of attorney and other estate planning documents.

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