A financial durable general power of attorney is a document in which a person, the principal, gives another person, the agent, the legal authority to act on their behalf. A durable power of attorney contains statutory language demonstrating the principal’s intent that the conferred power may be exercised if the principal is subsequently disabled or incapacitated and regardless of how much time has elapsed unless the document states a definite time of termination. This is as opposed to a financial non-durable power of attorney, which terminates upon the incapacity or death of the principal.
A financial durable general power of attorney can become effective either immediately upon signing, or when the principal becomes disabled or incapacitated. It’s completely up to the discretion of the principal and it’s important that the correct language be used in the document to reflect his or her wishes.
A financial durable general power of attorney becomes ineffective upon the death of the principal. However, pursuant to Arizona law, unless the agent has actual knowledge of the death of the principal, acts performed in good faith by the agent subsequent to the principal’s death will bind the principal’s successor. Similarly, the good faith actions of an agent acting pursuant to a non-durable power of attorney will bind the principal and the principal’s successors, even after the inception of the disability or incapacity of the principal unless the agent has actual knowledge of the incapacity or disability.