Financial Power of Attorney: When to Hire a Lawyer in Arizona
Are you familiar with the statutes associated with financial power of attorney in Arizona? Read about how to find the best lawyer for your needs in AZ.
Did you know that over half of American adults have a power of attorney in place? These study results demonstrate that as adults age, many come to realize just how important it is to have an estate plan in place.
A financial power of attorney refers to a legal document that gives a trusted person (known as the agent or attorney in fact) the power to make financial decisions for a principal , or the person whom the agent is acting on behalf of. The agent will be able to handle financial affairs. Most of the time an agent is a family member.
But, when do you need a financial power of attorney or an Arizona durable power of attorney? And, how do you go about hiring lawyer? In this guide, you'll learn all about the financial power of attorneys and when to hire a lawyer in Arizona.
When Do You Need a Financial Power of Attorney?
The most obvious reason to seek out a financial power of attorney is mental incapacity. As adults age, the reality that you may eventually reach a point where you can no longer pay bills or make financial decisions becomes more evident.
That's why it's important to hire an estate planning attorney so that you don't have to worry about reaching this point. Instead, you'll have a plan in place with a trusted agent who can take care of financial matters and make decisions for you. They will take care of your bank accounts, help you pay bills and have the ability to handle your finances for you.
As a general rule of thumb, once you procure any type of property, it's a good idea to secure a power of attorney. This rings true whether you're reaching your old age or not. The reality is, you never know what life may throw at you, which is why it's a good idea to prepare ahead of time and have a plan in place.
Power of attorneys can come in handy, especially when estate planning is of concern. Estate planning takes place when you're still capable and occurs so that not only you and your assets are protected, but anyone (like your children or other family members) are protected should you want to pass your assets off to them.
What are the Legal Requirements of a Financial Power of Attorney in Arizona?
Before you can establish a power of attorney, know that there are a few legal requirements you must pass first.
If you are the person seeking power of attorney, the state of Arizona requires that you prove that you are of sound mind. That means you must be capable of understanding what it means to execute and grant a power of attorney. If there is any question as to whether a person is mentally capable of granting a power of attorney, it's best to consult with a doctor.
If a lawyer is not sure if you have mental capacity they will not be able to help you. They may ask for a letter from a doctor if you disagree with them and you believe you can still make decisions on your own.
Once you secure your power of attorney, you have to start the process of notarization. In Arizona, you are required by law to sign your power of attorney in the presence of a notary public. You also need to get a witness to sign a statement before the notary public.
There are a few restrictions around who the witness can be. For some general guidelines, the witness cannot be the person you designated as the agent, the agent's spouse or children, or the notary official.
When you work with an estate planning attorney they will make sure that all the laws are being followed and your document us valid from the date it is signed.
Arizona doesn't state the exact language that you should include in your power of attorney document. But, Arizona's laws do provide some sort of outline for what you need in your document. If you're still unsure, using a lawyer to make sure your document is properly done and drafted is still your best option. .
Your power of attorney should contain language that declares your intent to appoint an agent, a statement that makes it clear who the designated agent is, a declarative statement before your signature, and an explicit witness statement. In the event something is missing your POA is not going to be valid. Most people use an attorney to make sure they are following the law in AZ and not just filling our a form.
How Do You Make Someone a Financial Power of Attorney in Arizona?
This is the time when you will most likely want a lawyer. While you can find forms or templates to fill out that would create your power of attorney, it may be easier to simply hire a lawyer to draft a power of attorney document for you.
Without a lawyer, you will need to find some sort of software that can generate the necessary power of attorney template. Generally, this document will cover who you are granting your estate to, financial transactions, and more (also known as your agent).
Even if you create the document yourself, it's still a good idea to have a lawyer look it over. That way, you can make sure everything in the document is legible and fair for both you and the agent.
After you've completed your document, you need to go through the steps outlined above to make your power of attorney official. Once you've signed this document in the presence of a notary public your power of attorney will be valid, it's a good idea to store your document in a safe place. It is also in your best interest to let you agent know what is expected from him and how he or see can have access to it in case they need it. It is not necessary to register the POA with the court.
Remember, your power of attorney only ends when and if you decide to revoke it, or if you die. Or, if an agent isn't available or the court invalidates your document, then your power of attorney ceases to exist. That's why it's helpful to hire a lawyer regardless so that you can make sure everything is done correctly and seamlessly. Adding back up agents is usually advised.
Create your Financial Power of Attorney Today!
Hopefully, you now have an understanding of what financial power of attorney is and when to hire a lawyer in Arizona. Make sure you complete all of the necessary steps and to be safe, hire a lawyer to help you with the process.
If you've decided you need to hire a lawyer to oversee the process, contact Citadel Law Firm today. They specialize in estate planning and can assist you with living trusts, trust administration, probate, and more!
Call (480) 565-8020 to schedule your free estate planning consultation, or click here. Our estate planning attorneys in Chandler will be pleased to help you.