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How To Make a Power of Attorney in Kansas FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Madison Hess, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 15, 2024

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When you can’t manage your financial decisions or personal matters due to a disability or incapacity, power of attorney documents can help. Get answers to frequently asked questions about Kansas power of attorney documents and naming an attorney in fact.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows you as the “principal” to grant someone you trust, your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” the authority to act on your behalf.

There are different types of power of attorney documents. A financial power of attorney lets your agent handle financial and legal matters. A health care directive allows you to appoint someone as your health care agent to make medical decisions for you when you can’t.

Your power of attorney is helpful when you are out of town and need your agent to handle a task for you. Or it is critical if you have a sudden incapacity and can’t manage your affairs. Without a power of attorney, your family must petition a court for a conservator. The court names a conservator with the legal authority to make decisions for you. A power of attorney avoids the need for a conservatorship.

Who Can Be My Attorney in Fact?

You can choose anyone you want as your attorney in fact, if they are an adult and competent. Many people ask someone they trust implicitly, whether that is a family member, friend, attorney, or accountant. There are many things to consider when choosing an attorney in fact such as if they are trustworthy, organized and responsible. Although an attorney in fact has significant control over a principal’s property and assets, they have a fiduciary duty to act in good faith and the best interest of the principal.

It is wise to avoid naming co-attorneys in fact. They must either act jointly or independently, and things may become complicated. They may disagree if acting jointly or contradict each other if they act independently. Instead, name someone as your primary attorney in fact with another as a backup or successor to the attorney in fact in the event your primary is unable to serve.

What Can My Attorney in Fact Do in Kansas?

You control the authority you want your attorney in fact to have. Under Kansas Statute §58-654, you can confer general authority to allow your attorney in fact to do any lawful act in your name or identify which areas you want your attorney in fact to handle. Typical areas and subjects may include the following:

  • Real property (buying, selling, or leasing real estate)
  • Tangible personal property (buying, selling, or maintaining personal possessions)
  • 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
  • Tax matters

There are other powers that you can only grant your agent if you expressly do so in your power of attorney; for example, some of these may be to:

  • Create, amend, revoke, or terminate any trust agreement;
  • Make a gift
  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • Authorize another person to exercise the authority granted under this power of attorney
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan
  • Access the content of electronic communications
  • Disclaim or refuse an interest in property, including a power of appointment
  • To give consent on behalf of the principal to the sale, gift, transfer, mortgage or other alienation of the principal’s homestead or interest therein

These powers may reduce your estate. You may want your agent to be able to reduce your estate to minimize your estate taxes or qualify you for government benefits such as Medicaid. Carefully consider what authority you want to grant because your attorney in fact has broad control over your property and assets. You can also place limitations on your power of attorney, such as not allowing your attorney in fact to give gifts to themselves or anyone they have a legal obligation to support.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Kansas?

durable power of attorney in Kansas means it remains effective even when the principal is incapacitated. Under K.S.A. §58-652(a), a durable power of attorney must contain language such as “This is a durable power of attorney and the authority of my attorney in fact shall not terminate if I become disabled or in the event of later uncertainty as to whether I am dead or alive”; or “this is a durable power of attorney and the authority of my attorney in fact, when effective, shall not terminate or be void or voidable if I am or become disabled or in the event of later uncertainty as to whether I am dead or alive.”

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

You can specify in your document when you want your power of attorney to start. It can be immediately upon your execution of the power of attorney or based on a different effective date or occurrence of a future event, such as an incapacity.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

At any time, you may revoke your power of attorney if you are competent. However, there are other events when your power of attorney terminates, such as your death, your incapacity if the POA is non-durable, or upon the termination date specified in the POA.

If your spouse is your attorney in fact and you divorce, separate or annul your marriage your spouse’s authority ends. Additionally, if your attorney in fact is unwilling or unable to serve and you do not have a backup or successor to the attorney in fact, the power of attorney ends.

Does Kansas Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

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

Can I Make My Own Power of Attorney in Kansas?

Yes. When making a financial power of attorney, you should know who you want as your attorney in fact and what powers you want to give them. Many people use do-it-yourself solutions with online estate planning forms that comply with Kansas state laws and signing requirements. If you have questions about power of attorney documents, talk to an estate planning attorney for legal advice.

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

You must be an adult and competent to make a power of attorney. Your POA must be in writing and signed by you in front of a notary public or other authorized individuals under §53-501.

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

Yes, in the state of Kansas, you must have a notary attest to your signature.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

After signing your power of attorney provide copies to your attorney in fact and any other parties they will interact with. Keep the original in a safe place. Some parties, such as a bank or financial institution, will ask for an agent certification form in which your attorney in fact attests that your power of attorney is effective, and they are authorized to serve as your attorney in fact.

Does an Attorney in Fact Get Paid in Kansas?

Your attorney-in-fact may receive reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred while acting under your power of attorney. Unless you specify otherwise in your power of attorney, they may also receive reasonable compensation for their time.

Is My Kansas Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. Generally, if you have a Kansas POA created and executed according to Kansas law, other states will honor it.

Can I Revoke My Kansas Power of Attorney?

Yes. If you are competent, you can revoke your power of attorney document at any time. To revoke, make a written statement of revocation to give to your attorney in fact, and all parties relying on your original POA. Destroy your original power of attorney and any copies.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Kansas?

In addition to a financial power of attorney, you should consider two other legal documents for a complete estate plan.

health care directive combines a healthcare power of attorney with a living will. This may also be called an advance directive. You name an agent to access your medical records, speak to providers, and make healthcare decisions when you can’t. In your directive, you can specify what life-sustaining measures you want given or withheld when you have an end-stage illness or terminal condition.

last will and testament lets you name who you want to manage your estate (your personal representative), receive your property (your beneficiaries), and care for your minor children (a guardian). If you don’t have a will, called “dying intestate,” a probate court follows state intestacy laws and makes decisions about your loved ones. Having a will puts you in control of your family and property.

Fortunately, using online templates to create a valid power of attorney and other Kansas estate planning documents is easy.

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