A financial power of attorney is used to appoint a person called an agent (not necessarily and often not a lawyer) to make financial decisions when you are unable. This person can ensure your bills stay paid during a trip or illness and handle a wide scope of other activities listed in the document.
The principal is the person creating the power of attorney. The principal can make various kinds of powers of attorney:
A limited power of attorney limits the powers a power of attorney can make on behalf of the principal. This type of power of attorney is useful if the principal is traveling and needs someone to handle financial matters while away.
A general power of attorney allows a wide range of responsibilities compared to a limited power of attorney.
A durable power of attorney allows the attorney-in-fact to act while the principal is incapacitated. Non-durable limited and general power of attorneys do not function when the principal is incapacitated.
The agent acts in a fiduciary manner, meaning he or she is legally responsible for their conduct (or misconduct) and can be punished in both a civil court and criminal court for reckless or negligent behavior. Agents do not have the ability to manage assets in a trust unless they agent is listed as a trustee or successor trustee of a trust.
Agents appointed in this document must be at least 18 years of age and are not requried to live in Arizona. This document requires one witness and a notary to be enforced.
This document does not replace a health care / medical power of attorney. The two documents are often used together.