When Does a Durable Power of Attorney Cease in Arizona?

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

When Does a Durable Power of Attorney Cease in Arizona?

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

When you give someone else power of attorney over your finances, you nominate an agent and give them authority to transact business on your behalf. These responsibilities are either durable or nondurable. State law establishes the requirements for these documents to be valid, so Arizona legislature governs when durable powers of attorney end. In this situation the person you've selected has authority until one of five things happens: the power expires, you revoke it, your agent passes away or resigns, a court revokes the authority, or you pass away.

Person signing a document labeled Power of Attorney with a fountain pen

If you choose to create this kind of document, it means your agent's authority remains in effect even during periods when you are incapacitated or incompetent. This is a common choice when people create this form for estate planning purposes.

Expiration Date

You can select an expiration date for your power of attorney. In most cases, people creating this document do not specify an expiration date. However, there are other circumstances when you might want to limit your agent's authority.

If you specify an expiration date in the paperwork, the authority granted under the form ceases on that date, with one notable exception. If you create a durable power of attorney in Arizona and become incapacitated before the specified expiration date, the person named in your paperwork may continue acting on your behalf despite the expiration date.

Revocation of Power of Attorney

As long as you are not incapacitated, you can revoke the authority you have given to someone. Your revocation document must be written, signed by you, and notarized. Give the notice of revocation to your agent and to any financial institutions or other parties who had the original form. You can obtain a revocation form from your county website or a county law library.

After you revoke their powers, your agent no longer has legal authority to use the document on your behalf. If you cancel a previous power of attorney, evaluate whether it makes sense to create a new one.

Death or Resignation of the Agent

Your document is also no longer valid if your agent passes away or resigns. If you named a successor, that person assumes authority when the first-named individual is no longer serving.

If you did not name a successor, and still want to authorize a trusted family member or friend to act on your behalf for financial matters, you have that option. However, you will need to create a new form to that effect.

Revocation by Court Order

Sometimes there are concerns that an agent is abusing his or her authority or is not acting in the best interests of the person who created the form, called the principal. If so, an Arizona court may also terminate a durable power of attorney.

The court may determine that it is in the best interest of the principal to issue a court order formally terminating the agreement. Once this decision is made, the agent may no longer use the document.

Death of the Principal

Finally, the document automatically ends when the principal passes away unless he or she revokes it sooner. After their death, the court appoints a personal representative to manage their estate and wind down their affairs.

If you want to create or revoke a durable power of attorney in Arizona, you will need to consult state laws related to your specific needs. A local government agency should be able to assist you in meeting any requirements and gathering the paperwork necessary to make these life planning decisions.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.