A power of attorney is a document that gives someone else the ability to act on your behalf. The person granting the power to act on her behalf is referred to as the principal. The agent, on the other hand, is the person receiving the power to act on behalf of the principal. The document itself contains language that dictates which powers are granted; the Arkansas Uniform Power of Attorney Act sets the rules for powers of attorney in Arkansas.
Durable Vs. Non-Durable
Under Arkansas law, all powers of attorney are durable powers of attorney unless the document states otherwise. A durable power of attorney does not take effect until you, the principal, become incapacitated, meaning you are no longer able to manage your affairs. For example, if a principal suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and can no longer manage his finances, the power of attorney may take effect. A non-durable power of attorney is only in effect for a limited period of time, for example, while the principal is out of the country, and becomes invalid if the principal is subsequently incapacitated.
Choosing an Agent
If you wish to create a power of attorney, you should carefully choose your agent. The agent will have the power to act on your behalf on almost any acts that you would be able to do yourself. For tax transactions with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, your agent may not receive a tax refund check or sign a tax return on your behalf if you completed and submitted the power of attorney form specifically provided by that agency. In these cases, the agent also cannot substitute another representative for himself or disclose your tax return information to a third party.
Arkansas law indicates that certain signing requirements must be met in order for the power of attorney to be valid. The Arkansas Uniform Power of Attorney Act indicates that the power of attorney must be signed by the principal, or another person in the principal's presence at his direction. Under Arkansas law, the signature is presumed to be genuine as long as the signing occurred in front of a notary public.
Arkansas law also permits the principal to revoke a power of attorney. To do so, the principal must give the agent notice that the powers are being revoked and the notice must be in writing. The notice should also be sent to the court and any entities relying on the power of attorney.