Powers of Attorney: Know the Facts

While we generally think of a Power of Attorney in an estate planning context, there are a variety of other reasons and scenarios where a Power of Attorney may be a valuable tool allowing another person to legally act on one’s behalf. Under a Power of Attorney, the person granting the authority to act is known as the principal and the person given the authority to act is known as the agent or the attorney-in-fact.

A Power of Attorney may be granted for a specific or limited purpose or transaction or it may be a very broad grant of authority to act on the principal’s behalf. In Arkansas, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act became effective January 1, 2012. Under this statute, Powers of Attorney that were created on or after the effective date of the act are considered to be durable unless the document provides otherwise. A Durable Power of Attorney does not terminate if or when the principal becomes incapacitated. However, all Powers of Attorney terminate upon the death of the principal.

There are many reasons why one may consider executing a Power of Attorney: to include assistance with financial transactions, management of property issues, or perhaps to manage your affairs while you are traveling abroad. Before executing a Power of Attorney, you should carefully consider the person that you wish to appoint as your agent as well as the scope of authority which is needed for them to act on your behalf.

It’s important to note that by executing a Power of Attorney, you have not forfeited your right to act on your own behalf. Further, the agent has a fiduciary duty of loyalty and must act in good faith for your benefit. Finally, a principal may generally revoke a Power of Attorney at any time for any reason.

For more information about Powers of Attorney or any other legal concern, please contact Davidson Law Firm at 501-374-9977 or by email at skipd@dlf-ar.com

This article was a contribution from Hot Springs Sentinel-Record Senior Scene

Download this article