Powers of Attorney

Flagstaff Power of Attorney Lawyers

Arizona estate planning lawyers help with complex legal matters

 Giving someone else the power to act in your behalf may seem like an extreme measure but in fact it can be a useful estate planning device. Creating a power of attorney is a way to assure yourself that a person you trust will take over important functions and duties if and when you cannot attend to them. At Mangum, Wall, Stoops & Warden, P.L.L.C., our experienced lawyers can help provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve placed your affairs in competent hands.

What is power of attorney?

Power of attorney is a legal authority that one person (the principal) transfers to another person (the agent or “attorney- in-fact”) to take action on specified matters in defined circumstances. The scope and duration of the authority is memorialized in a formal document called a durable power of attorney. Our Flagstaff estate planning lawyers recommend these instruments as part of a comprehensive estate plan. 

Powers of attorney can be especially important for individuals who are:

  • In medically tenuous situations due to injury or illness
  • Sole owner/operators of small businesses
  • Slowing down due to age

Even if you are in perfect health, it’s good to have a power of attorney prepared as a safeguard against unexpected incapacity.

Types of powers of attorney in Arizona

Powers of attorney (POAs)can be tailored to a variety of purposes. Types of POA include:

  • General/financial — This grants an agent broad authority over legal and financial matters. 
  • Special/limited — Authority is limited to particular situations, such as managing property transactions or handling single transaction financial matters. 
  • Parental — Parents designate another adult to manage their children’s affairs for up to six months. This POA is commonly used when parents are traveling without their children.
  • Medical — Also known as a healthcare proxy, this type of POA designates an agent to make healthcare decisions if the principal should become incapacitated.

Working with an estate planning attorney, you can craft a POA that meets your specific needs.

Creating an Arizona power of attorney

Arizona POAs must specify the scope of authority, the circumstances under which the authority goes into effect and the duration of the authority. The document must precisely identify the agent and must clearly state the intention of the principal to create a POA and define the powers granted to the agent. The principal must sign in the presence of a witness or notary, who also signs the POA, and who may not be the agent or the agent’s spouse or child.

When does power of attorney become effective?

There are different ways in which a POA takes effect. A financial POA can be effective immediately or only when and if the principal is declared incapacitated by a physician (“springing POA”). A medical POA becomes effective only upon a declaration of incapacity. 

A principal who is mentally competent can revoke a POA at any time, provided he or she has the capacity to do so. A POA can also become invalid if the agent is unavailable to perform duties.

Flagstaff estate planning lawyer guides your power of attorney selection

In our practice, we help clients with the full range of decisions regarding powers of attorney. Matters to consider include:

  • Whom to choose as an agent
  • Whether to designate co-agents or alternative agents
  • What types of decisions the agent can make
  • Whether to use different POAs for separate matters, such as healthcare and finances 

We draw on decades of practical experience in estate planning matters to help our clients make fully informed decisions.

Contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney for advice on Arizona powers of attorney

The estate planning attorneys at Mangum, Wall, Stoops & Warden, P.L.L.C. in Flagstaff provide reliable advice on preparing and effectuating powers of attorney for a variety of purposes. To schedule a consultation, call us at 928-779-6951 or contact our office online.

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