Kansas Statute on Power of Attorney

By Heather Frances J.D.

There are many tasks that you must do personally because of their legal or medical significance. For example, no one else can register your vehicle for you or sign your name to legal documents without formal permission from you. This formal permission is documented by a power of attorney, authorized by Article 6 of Chapter 58 of the Kansas statutes.

Establishing a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is created when the principal – person giving power to someone else – signs a document that meets the appropriate legal requirements to allow someone else – called the agent or attorney in fact – to accomplish specific tasks on behalf of the principal. Powers of attorney can become effective immediately after they are signed or be contingent upon a future event, such as an illness. As with other legal documents, a principal must be mentally competent to sign the power of attorney, and it must be in writing.

Types of Powers of Attorney

Kansas allows both durable and nondurable powers of attorney. A nondurable power of attorney expires when the principal becomes disabled or there is uncertainty about whether the principal is dead or alive; a durable power of attorney does not. For example, if you give someone a nondurable power of attorney to access your bank account and then you become disabled, that agent will no longer be able to access your account. However, if you gave him a durable power of attorney, he could continue to access your account. Kansas also allows a durable power of attorney for health care, which allows a principal to name an agent to make health care decisions for him after he becomes incapacitated. An online legal services provider can help you draft the best type of power of attorney for your situation.

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Naming an Agent

The agent can begin acting as soon as the power of attorney is signed unless the power of attorney specifies otherwise. An agent must have the legal capacity to act on behalf of the principal, but a principal can name more than one agent and can specify whether the agents must act together or can act separately. Under Kansas law, the agent must keep a record of receipts and transactions on behalf of the principal and cannot mix the principal’s property or money with his own.

Powers of an Agent

A power of attorney gives an agent certain powers, but it does not force the agent to act. To determine what powers you may have as an agent, look at the power of attorney itself. You cannot exercise powers not given to you in the document, and it may restrict some of the powers you are given. Some of the powers you may have include authority to make medical decisions, provide gifts, execute trust agreements, change beneficiaries, sell property or access financial accounts. Kansas law does not allow a power of attorney to give certain powers, such as making a will for the principal.


A power of attorney terminates as specified in the document, but it can be changed or revoked prior to termination. In Kansas, the principal can revoke the power of attorney by telling the agent, either orally or in writing, that he is terminating it. The principal may also inform others that the power of attorney is terminated so that they know the agent’s powers are terminated.

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Guidelines for Assuming Power of Attorney

Becoming an agent through a power of attorney is an important undertaking since it involves managing the affairs of another person. Several considerations must be taken into account by the principal when drafting a POA and limiting the actions an agent may take, including designating the triggering event for when the agent takes over the principal's affairs, the breadth of the agent's authority, and under what circumstances the agent's powers terminate.

Can You Use Power of Attorney When a Person Is Alive?

A power of attorney is a document executed by someone referred to as a principal authorizing another person known as an agent or attorney-in-fact to act for her in performing certain actions or managing her affairs. Not only may you, as agent, use a power of attorney when the principal is alive, but you should not attempt to use one after she is deceased. Powers of attorney terminate upon the principal's death. In contrast, a court-appointed executor, often referred to as a personal representative, usually takes charge of legal and financial matters for the estate of someone who dies.

When Does a Durable Power of Attorney Cease in Arizona?

A durable power of attorney in Arizona is defined as a power of attorney that remains in effect after the person who signed it is unable to make decisions for herself. The person who creates a power of attorney is called the principal. The person named in the power of attorney to act for the principal is the agent or attorney-in-fact. A non-durable power of attorney, or traditional power of attorney, ceases to be in force if the principal becomes incapacitated.

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