Appointing a Florida Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives another individual the power to act as an agent on your behalf, for either a general purpose or a specific reason. The scope of the power of attorney can be tailored to your needs for the agent. For instance, you can execute a power of attorney that allows another individual to close on the sale of your home, sell your car, sign a contract on your behalf, or access your bank account. A power of attorney can be executed for just about any legal task, including forming wills, trusts, and giving gifts. Essentially, a power of attorney allows you to appoint a trusted individual to act and make decisions on your behalf.
How is a Florida Durable Power of Attorney Different?
Generally, an individual must have the capacity to enter into a valid power of attorney agreement. If the person who created the power of attorney later becomes incapcitated, the power of attorney is void. However, durable power of attorneys present an exception. A durable power of attorney is intended to remain in effect when an individual is incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themself. An individual must still have the capacity to enter into a durable power of attorney, of course.
The Benefits of a Florida Power of Attorney
Ideally, a power of attorney ensures that if you are incapacitated, your agent will be able to act on your behalf, making the decisions that you would have made for yourself if you were able. For this reason, it is critical that you use your best judgment in selecting an agent, and choose someone whom you really trust to represent your best interests. It is also important to ensure that your chosen agent does not have any conflicts (financial, emotional, familial, or otherwise) that would keep them from fully representing your best interest.
Executing a Florida Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document, and must be executed in accordance with certain requirements. A Florida power of attorney must be signed by the principal (the person who is creating the agreement for their benefit) and two witnesses. Additionally, it must be notarized. In Florida, in order for a durable power of attorney to be effective, it has to include certain language acknowledging that subsequent incapacity of the principal will not affect the validity of the document. The principal will then generally keep this document in their possession until such time as they need to use it, at which point it may be transferred to the agent by a lawyer.
Talk to an Experienced Florida Estates Lawyer
If you are considering appointing a Florida power of attorney, it is important to speak to an Estates Lawyer as soon as possible. At the SG Law Firm, our experienced Florida Estate lawyer will review your specific facts and circumstances to ensure that you take the best possible course of action. It is important to have a lawyer draft your power of attorney to ensure that you are comfortable with the scope of power and activity conveyed to your agent. The SG Law Firm can help you make sure that your wishes are honored and protected, regardless of your mental and physical state. Schedule a free consultation today.