Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act
On January 1, 2012, the Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act (the “Act”) became effective.
The Act applies to all powers of attorney executed on or after January 1, 2012.
Unless expressly provided otherwise, all powers of attorney are durable and thus not terminated by the
A power of attorney is effective when signed, unless the power expressly indicates that it is springing.
A power of attorney continues in effect even upon a long lapse of time since execution of the power of
Notarization is not required to create a valid power of attorney. However, an acknowledged power of
attorney is strongly encouraged because an acknowledged signature carried a presumption of
A photocopy or electronically transmitted copy of a power of attorney has the same effect as the original
power of attorney.
A third party may not require an additional or different power of attorney, even if the power of attorney
does not follow the statutory form.
A third party without actual knowledge that the power of attorney was void, invalid or terminated or that
the purported agent’s authority was void, invalid, terminated, or exceeded is fully exonerated from any
liability for effecting the transaction in reliance upon the power of attorney.
o Actual knowledge will only be found if the actual person effecting the transaction had
knowledge; therefore, the knowledge of one employee is not imputed to the entire organization.
A third party may request an agent certification (which is attached to this update), a translation, or an
opinion of counsel as to any matter of law concerning the power of attorney.
o The third party will be fully exonerated from liability in relying on the certification, translation,
or opinion of counsel.
o Best Practice: Require a certification by the agent.
A third party can refuse a power of attorney while waiting for a certification, translation, or opinion of
counsel, and under the following circumstances:
o (1) the principal does not have the authority to effect the transaction;
o (2) the third party believes in good faith that engaging in the transaction would be inconsistent
with current laws or regulations;
o (3) the third party has actual knowledge or a good faith belief that the power of attorney was
void, invalid or terminated or that the purported agent’s authority was void, invalid, terminated,
or exceeded; or
o (4) the third party knows or has made a report to the Department of Human Services stating a
belief that the principal may be subject to physical or financial abuse, neglect, exploitation, or
abandonment by the agent or a person acting for or with the agent.
The third party who refuses in violation of the Act to complete a transaction in reliance upon an
acknowledged power to attorney absent actual knowledge or a good faith belief is subject to (1) a court
order mandating the person complete such transaction and (2) liability for reasonable attorney’s fees and
o Best Practice: If the power of attorney is to be refused because of a good faith belief even after
receipt of a certification, the reasons behind the good faith belief need to be documented.