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How to Make A Power of Attorney in Arizona FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Madison Hess, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 13, 2024

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When you name someone as your power of attorney, you have someone to manage your affairs when you can’t. Find out how a power of attorney document can help and how to make a valid power of attorney document in Arizona.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes one person, called the agent, to act on behalf of another, called the principal, in legal and financial matters. A power of attorney is helpful when you are out of town or if you suddenly can’t make decisions for yourself due to a disability or incapacity. Having a power of attorney for financial decisions avoids having your family petition a court for a conservatorship in which a court appoints someone to manage your financial affairs. For someone to make medical and health care decisions for you in Arizona, you name an agent in a health care power of attorney.

Who Can Be My Agent?

Anyone who is 18 or older and competent may serve as an agent. You can name a family member, friend, accountant, or lawyer. When choosing an agent for your power of attorney, find someone who is responsible, organized, and trustworthy. Your agent has a fiduciary duty to act in good faith for your best interest.

While you may want to name two people to act as co-agents, you can complicate things quickly. Suppose you want your agents to act jointly; what if they disagree? Or imagine if you allowed them to act independently; what happens if they contradict each other’s actions? It is better to name a primary agent with a backup or successor agent to serve if your primary agent is unavailable.

What Can My Agent Do in Arizona?

Your agent has broad powers, but you decide what you want your agent to handle, for example, accessing bank accounts, paying bills, handling real estate transactions, or filing income taxes. In your power of attorney, you may authorize your agent to manage the following:

  • Real property (real estate)
  • Tangible personal property
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Commodities and options
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Operation of entity or business
  • Insurance and annuities
  • Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests
  • Claims and litigation
  • Personal and family maintenance
  • Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service
  • Retirement plans
  • Taxes

There are also specific powers that allow your agent to reduce your estate by giving away your property. For example, you may give your agent the power to:

  • Create, fund, amend, or revoke a living trust
  • Make a gift
  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • 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
  • Renounce or disclaim an interest in property, including a power of appointment

Some people do not want their agent to have this power. Others may want their agent to reduce their estate to minimize estate taxes or to qualify for need-based government programs, such as Medicaid.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Arizona?

durable power of attorney continues to be effective even if you are incapacitated. In Arizona, for a power of attorney to be durable, you must include a statement that you intend it to remain in effect despite a disability or incapacity. For example, you could use a phrase such as “this power of attorney is not affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal or lapse of time.” or “this power of attorney is effective on the disability or incapacity of the principal.”

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

Generally, a durable POA begins immediately upon meeting the execution requirements. You can specify a different time or triggering event (called a “springing” POA) when your power of attorney begins, such as your incapacity or a period of time when you are traveling.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

You can revoke your power of attorney at any time. You must, however, be competent to revoke. There are other events when your power of attorney ends, such as,

  • You die
  • Your agent dies, resigns, or is incapacitated, and there is not a backup agent
  • You are incapacitated and the power of attorney is not durable
  • The power of attorney has a termination date or event, and that date or event occurs
  • The purpose of the power of attorney is achieved.
  • A court revokes the agent’s authority

Additionally, your agent’s authority ends if your agent is your spouse and you divorce or terminate your marriage. Always naming backup agents is a good practice.

Does Arizona Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

No. Arizona does not provide a statutory power of attorney form. You can either create your own power of attorney document using a form customized to your needs or hire an estate planning attorney.

Can I Make My Own Power of Attorney in Arizona?

Yes. If you are mentally competent and 18 or older, you can make your own power of attorney. There are many things to consider when making a POA, such as who will serve as your agent and what powers to grant them. Many people use online estate planning forms. Find ones that conform to Arizona state law and that you can tailor to your situation. If you have questions about powers of attorney, contact an estate planning attorney for legal advice.

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

In Arizona, your power of attorney must be in writing. As the principal, you sign your name or direct someone to sign on your behalf and in your conscious presence. You must have someone witness your signature, but your witness cannot be you, your spouse, your children, or a notary public. You and your witness must sign in front of a notary and the notary attests to your signatures.

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

Yes. A notary must attest to your signature and statement that you are signing willingly and that you are of sound mind and not under any undue influence.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

After you complete the execution requirement for your power of attorney, give copies to your agent and any third parties you want to know about your POA, such as a bank or financial institution. A third party may ask your agent to complete an agent certification form. In this form, your agent attests that your power of attorney is effective and they are authorized to act on your behalf.

Does a Power of Attorney Agent Get Paid in Arizona?

In Arizona, your agent may receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses made on your behalf. However, your agent may only receive compensation for their time if you authorize it in your POA document.

Is My Arizona Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. Generally, states will uphold your valid power of attorney if you create it and meet the legal requirements for signing following Arizona law.

Can I Revoke My Arizona Power of Attorney?

Yes. As long as you are mentally competent, you can revoke your power of attorney. To revoke, create a “Revocation of Power of Attorney” document stating your intent to cancel your power of attorney and your agent’s authority. Reference the date of your original power of attorney document and the agent and successor agents’ names. Sign your revocation before a notary to authenticate it and distribute copies of the revocation to your agents and to all third parties who have your original.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Arizona?

A financial power of attorney is essential if you suddenly can’t handle your affairs due to an incapacity or disability. However, there are other estate planning documents to consider, such as a health care power of attorney and living will and last will and testament.

A health care directive combines a medical power of attorney and a living will. This document is also called an advance directive. You name your agent to access your medical records, talk with your healthcare providers, and make medical decisions for you when you can’t. You can even detail your wishes for specific medical treatments or life-prolonging measures if you have an end-stage illness or terminal condition.

last will and testament is a legal document where you put your wishes for who handles your estate, who inherits from you, and who cares for your minor children and pets. If you do not have a will, you die “intestate,” and a probate court makes these decisions for you and you and your family.

Fortunately, using online estate planning forms to create a valid power of attorney and other Arizona estate planning documents is easy and gives you peace of mind.

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