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Power of Attorney Lawyers in Arizona

Assisting Clients by Helping Them Prepare For the Future

Many Arizona residents need to be aware of the legal benefits of creating a power of attorney. A power of attorney (POA) is a valuable legal tool that individuals, known as the “principal,” can use to assign a designated “agent” to act on their behalf in legal, healthcare, and financial matters.

For example, many older adults fear they may become physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to make their decisions on their own behalf. Sadly, when an individual does not have a power of attorney in place and cannot make their own decisions, they may end up with a guardian or conservator appointed to oversee their affairs.

For this reason, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced power of attorney lawyer to help you create a POA that will account for your needs and plan for the future.

Contact the law offices of the AVID Esq. Group, LLC of Arizona, and ask to schedule a  free initial consultation with one of our highly experienced lawyers, who will answer your questions and determine your legal options.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives another person, the agent, the authority to act on your behalf. Some of the most common actions that an agent can take using the powers granted through the power of attorney include:

  • Opening and closing bank accounts.
  • Paying bills
  • Managing financial transactions
  • Transfer money
  • Make healthcare decisions.
  • Applying for government benefits such as Social Security or Medicare.

An estate planning attorney can assist you with explaining more about the specific powers needed to protect you fully should you experience a mental or physical disability that makes it challenging to manage your affairs.

Some individuals may hesitate to create a power of attorney because they fear the sweeping authority it grants to the designated agent. However, if written correctly, powers of attorney may stipulate a termination date, or in cases of a durable power of attorney, the POA may continue until the principal dies. Additionally, all powers of attorney are revocable under Arizona law, meaning they can be canceled anytime. Our legal team will gladly answer other questions about the legal authority granted in POAs.

What Are the Most Common Types of Power of Attorney Available in Arizona?

Several different types of power of attorney are available in Arizona. One of the easiest methods for creating a POA is through estate planning. When developing an estate plan, it is crucial that you have two separate POAs, which include:

Financial Power of Attorney

A durable financial power of attorney allows your attorney, in fact, or agent, to handle your business and financial affairs. Having a financial power of attorney can help avoid the worry that you may need to have the court appoint a guardian to handle your financial decisions.

Some of the financial decisions that can be made by the attorney in fact, on your behalf, include:

  • Buying or selling real property.
  • Filing tax returns.
  • Entering into contracts on your behalf.
  • Overseeing your affairs at financial institutions.

Medical Power of Attorney

A healthcare or medical POA gives your designated agent the legal right to make medical decisions on your behalf. When working with an estate planning attorney, it is essential to create a durable power of attorney for healthcare to remain valid if you become incapacitated. A healthcare power of attorney can act on behalf of the principal in various ways but only in matters related to healthcare decisions. These medical decisions include:

  • Consult with the patient’s healthcare providers.
  • Consent to surgery or other medical treatment.
  • Review medical records
  • Place the patient in a nursing facility or hospital.

Some people mistakenly believe a healthcare POA and a Living Will are the same. However, the healthcare power of attorney gives the agent valid power to make medical decisions, whereas the living will provide instructions to the agent regarding end-of-life decisions.

Who Should I Choose to Be My Agent for a Power of Attorney?

Anyone wishing to create a financial or medical power of attorney should carefully consider who they appoint as their agent. For example, whoever has a financial POA can access your financial assets or oversee medical matters, which could have negative consequences.

Depending on your needs, you may assign more than one person to help manage your financial or medical affairs. For example, if you are a business co-owner, you may assign your business partner as a financial power of attorney who can handle any decisions related to your company.

Some critical factors to consider when choosing a POA include:

  • Honesty: You should feel confident that your choice of POA will act ethically and carry out your wishes as you instruct.
  • Location: Although you may wish for a close family member to become your agent, whoever you choose should live close enough that they can easily handle your affairs, especially in the case of unforeseen medical events.
  • Willingness to serve: Often, individuals creating a power of attorney instinctively want their adult children or other family members to serve as their POA. However, discussing their willingness to serve is wise before appointing anyone to such a significant role.

If you need assistance determining the right person to appoint as your POA, contact the AVID Esq. Group, LLC of Arizona, and ask to speak with a power of attorney lawyer who will gladly assist you.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Power of Attorney Lawyer?

Often, potential clients question whether they need a lawyer to help them create power of attorney documents. However, although online options are available, a power of attorney created from an online site may not hold up to legal scrutiny.

For example, if a situation dictates that your agent must act on your behalf, other family members may not agree and challenge the validity of the POA. Challenging a POA could lead to the court appointing a guardian to oversee the principal’s affairs.

Additionally, Arizona law requires that anyone authorizing a power of attorney meet specific legal requirements such as being of a sound mind, at least 18 years old, and free of undue influence when signing the legal documents.

Contact the AVID Esq. Group, LLC of Arizona, at 480-467-5636 and ask to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal needs.