The Probate Law Firm provides legal assistance with the creation of a power of attorney for those looking to plan for the future by making sure they have named someone who can act on their behalf if they are unable to do so. We can offer advice to people who are acting as agents under a power of attorney and help them make decisions as to what their power of attorney allows them to do and not do. We can also help families of incapacitated individuals who did not obtain a power of attorney.
Incapacity could happen to anyone at any time due to illness or injury. Therefore, we believe that everyone should know what a power of attorney is, how it can protect them in the future and why they need one today. Our legal team will explain to you how a power of attorney works, outline what a person can and cannot do with one and ultimately help you create one. Give us a call today at 305-456-3255 so that we can answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get about powers of attorney such as:
- What is a Power of Attorney?
- Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
- When Do Powers of Attorney End?
- How can a Florida Power of Attorney Lawyer Help?
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for another person (the principle). There are different kinds of powers of attorney which can be created. The authority to act on behalf of another person can be broad or limited depending on the type of power of attorney. For example, a general power of attorney gives the agent the authority to act on almost all matters for the principal. This might include the authority to make decisions about the principal’s real estate, finances, or medical care, whereas a limited power of attorney may be limited in scope to just a specific transaction or in a limited situation.
Each state has rules about what makes a power of attorney valid and enforceable, so it is very important that you use a power of attorney that works in your state. Assuming your power of attorney is valid, whenever the power of attorney is used by the agent to act on behalf of the principal, it is legally binding and as if the principal was acting for himself or herself.
Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
Powers of attorney are most commonly used for incapacity planning. Specifically, a power of attorney might be used when a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or some other illness that is affecting their ability to make decisions on their own. In this case, the power of attorney would have had to have been done prior to the person experiencing these illnesses. A person must have capacity when creating a power of attorney. Unfortunately, you cannot create a power of attorney for someone else if they lack the legal capacity to make the power of attorney on their own.
A power of attorney might also be necessary for non-medical related issues such as if you travel often and want to give your spouse or someone the ability to sign documents, access financial records or do other similar tasks while you are traveling. In this case, you may do a more limited power of attorney.
Ultimately, you need a power of attorney regardless of whether you are young or old, healthy, or sick. Sadly, most people realize a power of attorney is needed when it is too late to get one.
When Do Powers of Attorneys End?
Traditional powers of attorney end when a person becomes incapacitated. This is sort of counterintuitive since most people really need a power of attorney when they actually become incapacitated. Therefore, it is generally advisable that your power of attorney be “durable” so that it remains in force if and when the principal becomes incapacitated.
Otherwise, a power of attorney ends when a person dies. The power of attorney becomes null and void and cannot be used by the agent when the principal passes away.
How can a Florida Power of Attorney Help?
There is likely no power of attorney template that will fit all person’s unique circumstances and needs. First, you want to make sure that the power of attorney you do is valid in your state. Second, a Florida power of attorney lawyer can speak with you to determine which power of attorney is best suited for you. Call The Probate Law Firm today at 305-456-3255 so that our team of experienced attorneys can create a power of attorney, which will help you in the event you are unable to handle your own affairs.