Skip to main content

How To Make a Power of Attorney in Utah FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Madison Hess, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 20, 2024

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?

When you have a power of attorney, you decide who should step in your place to handle your legal and financial matters when you can’t. Learn about how Utah power of attorney documents work and how to create a valid power of attorney following Utah’s state laws.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document in which a principal authorizes an individual, known as the agent or attorney in fact, to make decisions concerning the principal’s property and financial affairs. Utah’s rules for power of attorney are found in their Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Title 75, Chapter 9.

You use different types of power of attorney documents for different purposes. A financial power of attorney covers legal and financial matters such as bill paying, filing tax returns, and managing property. A health care power of attorney, called an advance health care directive in Utah, covers health care decisions and end-of-life treatment and care.

Without a power of attorney, if you suddenly are unable to manage your affairs, your family members would have to petition a court for a conservatorship. A court then decides to appoint a conservator with the legal authority to make decisions for you. If you have a power of attorney, however, a conservatorship is not necessary because you named someone to help you.

Who Can Be My Agent?

In Utah, your agent can be anyone 18 years old or older. You can select a family member, friend, or professional advisor. When choosing your power of attorney agent, you want someone trustworthy, organized, and responsible. An agent must avoid conflicts of interest and has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the principal. Because of this, you cannot appoint the owner, operator, healthcare provider, or employee of the healthcare facility where you reside or will soon reside as your agent unless they are your spouse, legal guardian, or next of kin.

It is not a good idea to use co-agents in a power of attorney because there may be conflicts. If your co-agents must act jointly, they may disagree, and nothing will be done. If your co-agents act independently, they may reverse each other’s actions and confuse third parties. It is better to name one agent and another as the backup or successor agent if your first choice is unwilling or unable to serve.

What Can My Agent Do in Utah?

Your agent in Utah can perform a broad array of tasks regarding your property and finances, such as managing real estate, handling bank transactions, and filing tax returns, as outlined in §75-9-201 through §75-9-217. You can grant your agent general authority to handle the following transactions:

  • Real property (real estate)
  • Tangible personal property (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
  • Taxes
  • Gifts

However, under §75-9-201, there are certain tasks that the principal must expressly authorize their agent to do because they may allow your agent to reduce your estate.

  • Create, amend, revoke, or terminate 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
  • Disclaim property, including a power of appointment

Your agent may think it is best to reduce your estate to qualify you for government benefits like Social Security or Medicaid or to minimize your estate taxes. Decide what powers you want to give your agent and talk with them about how you want them to handle your property and assets.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Utah?

A durable power of attorney in Utah remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. This means the POA does not terminate if the principal can no longer make decisions for themselves. This durability ensures ongoing management of the principal’s affairs without interruption. Under §75-9-1041, a power of attorney is durable unless it explicitly provides that it terminates by the principal’s incapacity.

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

Under §75-9-109, a power of attorney is effective immediately upon signing unless the document specifies a different start date or is a “springing” POA, which becomes effective upon the occurrence of a specified event, such as the principal’s incapacity.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

A power of attorney ends when the principal revokes it or dies. There are other events that terminate a power of attorney, such as the incapacity of the principal if the POA is non-durable. It also ends if the agent dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated, unless a successor agent is named. That is also a good reason to name successor agents to your primary agent.

Does Utah Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

Yes. Utah provides a statutory power of attorney form under § 75–9–301. However, you are not required to use Utah’s statutory form. There are other options for a Utah POA: either create a power of attorney document yourself or hire an estate planning attorney.

Can I Make My Own Power of Attorney in Utah?

Yes. You can create your own power of attorney in Utah. Make sure, however, to use forms that conform to Utah law and follow Utah’s execution requirements. Many people use state-specific online estate planning forms that they customize to their situation. But if you have questions about making a power of attorney, you should talk with an estate planning attorney for legal advice.

Estate planning solutions to fit your needs.

Get 10% off now
This is an advertisement. FindLaw and its affiliates are not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice.

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

Under §75-9-105, you must sign your power of attorney or direct someone to sign it on your behalf and in your conscious presence. A notary public or other individual authorized by the law to take acknowledgments must attest to your signature.

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

Yes. You must sign your document in front of a notary public or other individual authorized by the law to take acknowledgments.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

After signing your POA, provide copies to your agent, financial institutions, and anyone else who may need to recognize your agent’s authority. Store your original in a safe place and inform trusted individuals of its location. A financial institution or other third party may ask your agent to sign an agent certification form in which your agent affirms that your power of attorney is effective and your agent has the authority to act on your behalf.

Does a Power of Attorney Agent Get Paid in Utah?

In Utah, your agent may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred under your power of attorney. They may also be entitled to reasonable compensation for their time unless you state otherwise in your power of attorney.

Is My Utah Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. Generally, other states will recognize a power of attorney formed in Utah created and executed according to Utah state law.

Can I Revoke My Utah Power of Attorney?

Yes. If you are competent, you have the right to revoke power of attorney at any time. Make a written statement of revocation and give copies to your agent and any other parties that have your original. You should also destroy your original power of attorney document.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Utah?

A financial power of attorney is helpful and avoids conservatorship when you can’t manage your financial and legal affairs. There are other estate planning documents to consider for a complete estate plan.

An advance health care directive incorporates a medical power of attorney and a living will. In your directive, you name a health care agent to handle your information and make medical decisions for you when you can’t. You can detail your wishes for medical treatments and life-prolonging 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 that gives a probate court instructions on how you want your estate managed. In your will, you name someone to handle your estate, called a personal representative, and decide who inherits your property and who cares for your minor children. If you do not have a will, the court follows state intestacy laws for property distribution and decides who cares for your children. Having a will streamlines probate, saving your loved ones time and money in court.

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


View videos on these media platforms:

Need help?

  • Find a lawyer
  • Search legal topics
Enter your legal issue
Enter your location