The Alabama power of attorney is a document issued by the principal that authorizes another person, called an agent, to act on behalf of the principal and represent them before a governmental, financial, or other organization or third person.
The agent is authorized to act only within the authority delegated to them by the power of attorney. Therefore, the principal must provide a list of all the activities the agent is authorized to conduct on their behalf.
People choose to issue a power of attorney in the following cases:
Reasons for Authorization
If they are in old age or unstable health
When they are moving abroad for a longer period of time
When they want to authorize someone to take care of their interests and matters in case they become legally incompetent
If they live in a residential care facility and need help managing their financial or other matters
Types of Power of Attorney in Alabama
Alabama Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
The durable Alabama power of attorney will remain in effect after you become mentally incompetent or incapacitated.
Alabama General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
This form of Alabama power of attorney will authorize the agent to make financial decisions and manage your property (e.g., real estate transactions).
Alabama Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
A special power of attorney enables the agent to only conduct actions explicitly provided for in the document.
Alabama Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
A parent that has custody over a minor or its guardian can authorize another person to conduct any activity regarding health, support, education, or maintenance of the minor’s property using the parental power of attorney.
Note that the Alabama parental power of attorney is valid for up to one year.
Alabama Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of power of attorney authorizes the caregivers to initiate certain medical treatments if the principal becomes incompetent to make decisions. For authorizing another person to initiate certain end-of-life actions, use the Alabama Advance Directive.
Alabama Springing Power of Attorney Requirements
A springing power of attorney takes effect after a certain condition is fulfilled. This can be a certain event, for example, when the principal becomes incapable of making decisions or after a certain date.
Alabama Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
This power of attorney is used to authorize another person to:
Scope of Authorization
Sell or buy a vehicle
Transfer the vehicle title
Handle the vehicle registration and register plates purchase
Alabama Revocation Power of Attorney Requirements
With this document, you can cancel any previous power of attorney you’ve issued. It must include the names of the agents and dates when the previous power of attorney was signed. It is also important to notify all the governmental, financial, or other institutions the agent was interacting with and inform them of the cancellation of the power of attorney.
Alabama Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
If you wish to authorize another person to file a tax report on your behalf before the Alabama tax authorities, you can do it by signing the Alabama tax power of attorney.
Alabama Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
This power of attorney is often used by people who wish to authorize a real estate professional to sell, manage, or refinance a property on their behalf.
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Alabama
An Alabama power of attorney shall fulfill certain requirements to be valid before governmental agencies and other legal or natural persons, namely:
Form. The Alabama power of attorney should provide the information about the principal and their signature, date of the power of attorney signature, name(s) of the agent(s), list of powers granted, and duration of the powers.
Mental capacity. As provided by the Troy Health and Rehabilitation Center v. McFarland, 187 So.3d 1112 (Ala. 2015), the principal must have a mental capacity to understand and comprehend their actions when signing the power of attorney for this document to be valid.
Notarization. A power of attorney for financial matters must be signed before the notary public (§ 26-1A-105). Additionally, if the agent is authorized to handle the real estate transactions, such power of attorney must be signed before the notary public.
Witnesses. Although the notarization is not required for the finalization of an advanced directive in Alabama, two witnesses must be present.
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in Alabama?
An agent can be any adult with the capacity to make decisions. They do not have to be lawyers. However, it is important that the person you authorize as your agent is someone you trust. It is also important to find a person located in a place where they can easily execute the powers you grant them.
Although Alabama law doesn’t set many limitations on who can be named as an agent in a power of attorney, there are a few exceptions. If you are living in an assisted living facility, you can’t name the worker at that facility as your agent unless you are related.
How to Create an Alabama Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in Alabama
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
Based on the moment you want your power of attorney to take effect, what powers you want to give to your agent, or how long you want it to be valid, you should select an appropriate type of power of attorney.
#2. Select an Agent
After selecting the type of power of attorney, you should select the person you want to authorize to act on your behalf. This should be a person who is of legal age, capable of making decisions, and whom you can trust.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
You should provide a list of actions your agent can conduct on your behalf.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
Download one of the Alabama power of attorney templates that matches your needs and fill out your details, information about the agent, and list of authorities you wish to grant.
#5. Get it Signed & Notarized
The power of attorney should be signed by both the principal and the agent, and in case the agent is authorized to conduct any financial decisions on behalf of the principal, it should also be notarized.
#6. Safely Store the Original Copy
By storing the original power of attorney copy, you will have valid proof of the powers and conditions under which they are exercised that you can later make authorized copies of.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
The principal should send a copy of the power of attorney to each legal and natural person the agent is interacting with on their behalf.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
If some of the details provided in the power of attorney change in the meantime or the power of attorney expires, you can draft and sign a new document.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in Alabama?
The Alabama power of attorney can take effect when the parties sign it or at a specific event or date determined by the principal.
If the power of attorney is not declared durable, it stops being effective after the principal dies or becomes mentally incompetent.
Both the principal and the agent can terminate the power of attorney. The principal does so by canceling the power of attorney, and the agent does so by sending them a notification of resignation.
Alabama Power of Attorney FAQ
You can use a power of attorney in every situation when you need to authorize another person to represent you before third parties due to your physical or mental incapacity to do so yourself.
A power of attorney serves as the authorization for a certain person, called an agent, to represent and act on behalf of the principal, the person issuing the document.
If you want to grant another person the power to make financial or real estate decisions on your behalf, you should sign the document in front of a notary public.
It’s always recommended to have the power of attorney even if you have already created the will, since it will protect your interests during your lifetime while the will protects you after you have passed away.