How to Get Financial Power of Attorney in Alabama: A Guide

A durable power of attorney (POA) in Alabama lets someone handle your finances if you can’t.

You can make a POA document to give specific powers to someone you trust, called an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” to do things like depositing checks, filing taxes, or selling your home.

Learn how to get financial power of attorney in Alabama with this step-by-step guide.

Understand the process, legal requirements, and how to create a durable POA to manage your finances in case of incapacity.

An Image of a Financial Attorney
How to Get Financial Power of Attorney in Alabama. Photo Source (Freepik)

What Types of Powers of Attorney Are Available in Alabama?

You can make different types of POAs.

Many estate plans have two durable POAs: one for finances and one for medical decisions.

These POAs stay effective even if you can’t make decisions.

It’s smart for most people to have these documents for unexpected situations.

What Are the Legal Requirements of a Financial POA in Alabama?

In Alabama, you must be mentally capable to create a power of attorney (POA), meaning you understand what you’re doing.

It’s important to ensure the person creating the POA understands the powers they’re giving away.

While not required by law, it’s highly recommended to have your POA notarized in Alabama.

Notarization adds extra security and many financial institutions will ask for it before accepting the document.

Steps for Making a Financial Power of Attorney in Alabama

1. Create the POA Using a Statutory Form, Software, or Attorney

In Alabama, you can use a form provided by the state, a software, or hire a lawyer to create your POA.

You decide what powers to give your agent, such as managing real estate, stocks, banks, retirement plans, and taxes.

The POA is durable by default, meaning it stays effective even if you become unable to make decisions, unless you say otherwise in the document.

2. Sign the POA in the Presence of a Notary Public

Sign the POA in front of a notary public to make sure your signature is real.

Alabama allows remote notarizations over video, but it’s easier to have the notary there in person.

If you use a remote notary, you still need to give them all the documents for authentication and signature.

3. Store the Original POA in a Safe Place

Keep the original POA in a safe place that your loved ones can easily find.

If you’re unable to make decisions, your attorney-in-fact may need the original POA to help you.

4. Give a Copy to Your Agent or Attorney-in-Fact

Give your agent or attorney-in-fact a copy of the POA so they know what it says and can use it when needed.

5. File a Copy With the Land Records Office

If your agent can handle real estate deals, file a copy of your POA where your property is.

This helps recognize your agent’s authority for real estate transactions.

6. Consider Giving a Copy to Financial Institutions

Give copies of your durable financial POA to banks or institutions your agent might need to work with in the future.

This can make things easier for your agent if they ever need to use the POA.

Who Can Be Named an Agent (Attorney-in-Fact) in Alabama?

You can choose almost any capable adult as your agent.

Consider if they’re trustworthy and nearby.

It’s better to have one agent to avoid conflicts, but you can name a backup successor agent.

When Does My Durable Financial POA Take Effect?

In Alabama, a durable financial power of attorney becomes effective right after you sign it, unless you say otherwise.

You can add a condition, like a doctor saying you’re unable to make decisions, but it’s generally not advised.

When Does My Power of Attorney End?

Your power of attorney ends when you die.

A durable power of attorney also ends if:

  1. You decide to cancel it. You can do this at any time if you’re able to make decisions.
  2. There’s no one available to act as your agent. To prevent this, you can name a backup agent in your document.
  3. A court says your document is not valid. This is rare but can happen if the court decides you were not able to make decisions when you signed it, or if there was fraud or pressure.

In Alabama, if your spouse is your agent and you get divorced or your marriage is annulled, their authority ends.

However, your power of attorney remains valid. If you named a backup agent, they will become your new agent.

Conclusion

Creating a durable power of attorney (POA) in Alabama allows someone to handle your finances if you become unable to.

This guide covers the legal requirements and steps to create a POA, including different types for finances and medical decisions.

Notarization is recommended but not required. You can use a statutory form, software, or attorney to create a POA, specifying the powers you want to grant your agent.

Signing in front of a notary public and storing the original safely are important steps.

Giving a copy to your agent and filing one with the land records office can simplify future transactions.

Your durable financial POA takes effect immediately unless specified otherwise and ends upon your death, revocation, unavailability of an agent, invalidation by a court, or divorce from a spouse who is your agent.

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