A durable POA aids with financial matters if you become incapacitated.
Getting a financial power of attorney in Utah empowers someone to manage tasks like depositing checks, filing taxes, or property transactions.
It grants specific authority to a trusted person, an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” for these tasks.
Here’s how to make one in Utah.
What Types of Power of Attorneys Are Available in Utah?
In Utah, various types of POAs are available, often including two key ones:
- Financial Power of Attorney: Manages financial and business matters.
- Health Care Power of Attorney: Handles medical decisions, combined with a living will into an “advance health care directive.”
Durable POAs are common in estate planning, ensuring effectiveness even when incapacitated. Creating these two documents is advisable for unforeseen circumstances.
What Are the Legal Requirements of a Financial POA in Utah?
To be legally valid in Utah, your POA must satisfy these criteria.
Mental Capacity for Creating a POA
The person creating a POA must be mentally sound, but the specific standards vary and are subject to Utah court interpretation.
If uncertain about the mental capacity, seek advice from an estate planning attorney when assisting someone with a POA.
In Utah, for your POA to be legally valid, it must be signed in the presence of a notary public.
Steps for Making a Financial Power of Attorney in Utah
1. Create the POA Using a Statutory Form, Software, or Attorney
In Utah, you have multiple options for creating a POA. You can use the state’s statutory form, user-friendly software like WillMaker, or consult a Utah lawyer. The process involves granting broad powers or specifying specific ones. By default, your Utah POA is durable unless it states otherwise.
2. Sign the POA in the Presence of a Notary Public
As mentioned above, in Utah, you must have your POA notarized.
3. Store the Original POA in a Safe Place
After finishing the POA, keep the original in a secure but accessible location, and inform your loved ones of its whereabouts.
The original may be necessary for your attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
4. Give a Copy to Your Agent or Attorney-in-Fact
Give a copy of the power of attorney to your agent so they know the document’s contents.
5. File a Copy With the Land Records Office
If you marked “real property” for your agent’s real estate powers, consider filing a copy of your POA at the county recorder’s office where you own or expect real estate dealings in Utah.
This registration helps the office recognize your agent’s authority for real estate transactions.
6. Consider Giving a Copy to Financial Institutions
You can provide copies of your durable financial POA to relevant institutions, like banks, that your agent may interact with in the future, making things easier for your agent when using the POA.
Who Can Be Named an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact in Utah?
Legally, you can choose any competent adult as your agent in Utah, but some restrictions apply.
You can’t select an owner, operator, or employee of a care facility, with a few exceptions.
Consider trustworthiness and location when naming an agent.
While Utah permits co-agents, it’s generally better to have one to reduce conflicts. A “successor” agent is a wise backup plan if your primary choice becomes unavailable.
When Does My Durable Financial POA Take Effect?
Your POA takes effect right away, unless it specifies a future date. Creating a “springing” POA with a condition, like a doctor’s declaration of incapacity, is often discouraged for various reasons.
When Does My Financial Power of Attorney End?
A power of attorney ends upon your death, and a durable POA can also end if you revoke it, no agent is available (unless a successor is named), or a court invalidates it.
In Utah, if your spouse is named as your agent and you file for divorce, their authority ceases, but the POA remains intact, with a successor agent taking over if named.