When Does a Durable Power of Attorney Cease in Arizona?

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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.

Revocation of Power of Attorney

Under Arizona law, a durable power of attorney ceases anytime a competent principal elects to terminate it. A principal can terminate a durable power of attorney by notifying the agent, in writing, of the revocation. Revocation forms may be available from your county's Superior Court of Arizona website, local courthouse or an online legal document provider. You must also file a copy of the revocation in the County Recorder's office if the original power of attorney was recorded there or involved real estate. Copies must also be provided to any third parties who received the original power of attorney, in order to put them on notice of the revocation.

Read More: Explanation of Power of Attorney

Court Order Terminating Power of Attorney

A court in Arizona possesses the power to terminate a durable power of attorney. Typically, such an action occurs when the principal is no longer competent and a third party complains that the agent named in the power of attorney either isn't doing his job or is abusing his position. The decision to terminate a durable power of attorney in such a situation rests entirely at the discretion of the judge.

Specific Term in Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney can contain specific language as to when it will cease to be in force. For example, a durable power of attorney in Arizona may include a clause that sets forth a specific date in the future when it will cease. Another option is the inclusion of a term that calls for an end to the durable power attorney upon the occurrence of a particular event, such as the marriage of the principal.

Opening of an Estate

A durable power of attorney automatically terminates when the principal dies. Upon the principal's death, the affairs of his estate are typically handled by an executor or administrator, also known as a personal representative, appointed by the court. The appointment of the executor or administrator eliminates the need for the agent named in the durable power of attorney.