In Alabama, a durable power of attorney is a legal document that lets you name someone to make decisions for you if you cannot do so yourself. The person on whose behalf the decision is made is called the “principal” and the person who agrees to act is called the “agent.”
The term “durable” on the power of attorney form means that the document remains valid in case the principal becomes incapacitated.
The most common durable power of attorney forms in Alabama are the financial POA, used for financial and business matters, and a health care POA, used for medical decisions and usually incorporated in a larger document called advance directive for health care.
Read on to learn how to use a durable power of attorney in the Yellowhammer State.
Alabama Durable Power of Attorney Requirements
In Alabama, all power of attorney forms are durable by default, unless it’s specified that the form becomes invalid if the principal becomes incapacitated.
Relevant Laws: Title 26, Chapter 1A (Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act), §26-1A-105 (execution requirements).
Presumed Durable: Yes — durability presumed (§ 26-1A-104).
Signing: A signature is required. No witnesses are required.
Notarization: In Alabama, the signature is presumed genuine if acknowledged before a notary public.
Statutory Form: Yes (§ 26-1A-301).
How to Fill Out an Alabama DPOA Form
Follow these steps to easily complete our blank durable power of attorney form for Alabama:
Step 1: Designate an Agent
As a principal, you first need to choose an agent and make sure they fully understand what power of attorney is and the responsibilities associated with this.
Both parties write their names and addresses at the top of the durable power of attorney form.
In Alabama, agents are not liable for their actions as agents as long as they act in good faith. Trying to falsify, forge, conceal, amend, or revoke the durable power of attorney can attract both civil and criminal penalties.
Step 2: Grant Authority
Once you’ve chosen an agent, you need to mark on the form which areas of your life you want to give legal power over. You can grant authority over all available powers, or choose one or more areas:
- Real estate transactions
- Investments and loans
- Retirement plans
Once you’ve marked the powers on the form, you can add specific instructions about which actions the agent can perform on your behalf.
Step 3: Ensure Your Form Is Durable
In Alabama, a power of attorney is presumed to be durable unless you specify otherwise on the form.
Step 4: Sign and Date the Form
To complete the paperwork, both the agent and the principal must sign and date the durable power of attorney form.
Storing and Using Your Form in Alabama
After completing your durable power of attorney form, you should store it in a secure place in your home and give a copy to the agent as well. For good measure, you can also give a copy to your family or third parties (landlord or financial institutions).
If your agent is allowed to conduct transactions with real estate, make sure to file a copy of the form in the land records office where you own your property.
Signing on Behalf of the Principal
For an agent to sign on your behalf, contact the third party or place the DPOA will be used, and provide your ID and that of your agent.
The agent can then sign on your behalf as follows:
by [Agent’s name]
Power of attorney
Revoking a Durable Power of Attorney in Alabama
To revoke a durable power of attorney in Alabama, principals need to file a revocation of power of attorney.
You can also revoke it verbally in front of a witness over 19 years old. The witness has to sign and date a written document that confirms the revocation.
Most principals decide to revoke a durable power of attorney due to family conflicts or when the appointed agent cannot fulfill their obligations. Marriage is also a common time to change the durable power of attorney—if you wish to change health care agents from the parents to the spouse. The authority given to the spouse becomes invalid in case of divorce or legal separation.