“Power of attorney” is a phrase you might hear on a fairly regular basis. But do you know exactly what it means? Or more specifically, do you know how they work? If not, you’ll find out in today’s post! We’re going to answer your top questions on the subject, including “What does a power of attorney do?”, “what is a durable power of attorney?” and more.
What Does a Power of Attorney Do?
First, let’s define what a POA means: “A POA is a legal document that delegates authority from one person (the “principal” to another person “the agent”). As the agent, that person is then able to act on the principal’s behalf. The specifics of what they can do as the agent depends on the details outlined in the power of attorney. In some cases, a POA includes broad power for the agent, and in other cases, it applies only in very specific circumstances.”
As for that question “What does a power of attorney do?” Essentially, it gives one person (the agent) the legal authority to act on behalf of another (the principal). Then, the agent can make important decisions about the principal’s property, finances, or medical care.
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney or DPOA is useful should you lose your mental capacities for decision making. Without a DPOA in place, a guardianship (which is challenging and expensive) is need to manage your affairs. Instead, most people can save themselves a lot of trouble (and money) by assigning a durable power of attorney instead.
Durable powers of attorney can remain in effect if the agent is incapacitate. Additionally, a durable power of attorney can be created to be general or limited and special.
To create a durable power of attorney, the document must include: “this durable power of attorney is not terminated by subsequent incapacity of the principal except as provided in Chapter 709, Florida Statutes.”
What are the other types of power of attorney?
In addition to a durable power of attorney, there are two other types of power of attorney in Florida worth covering.
- General Power of Attorney: This means the agent is given broad authority and can complete financial transactions, including banking and buying or selling real estate on the principal’s behalf.
- Limited or Special Power of Attorney: For these POAs, the agent is given specific, limited power for a specified purpose for a set period of time. For example, if the principal travels out of the country and the agent needs authority to close on a property in the principal’s absence.
What’s the difference between durable and general power of attorney?
We often get questions about what a durable versus a general power of attorney does, so let’s talk about that next.
A general power of attorney ends the moment someone becomes incapacitated. Because it lacks durability under duress, it isn’t suitable for many end-of-life decisions. A DPOA, on the other hand, remains in effect until the principle dies (unless otherwise revoked).
This means there isn’t an automatic deadline for these powers to expire, so the authority continues to apply if the agent is incapacitated.
Can I revoke a power of attorney?
Let’s say you’ve assigned someone power of attorney in Florida. But now, for one reason or another, you want to revoke the POA.
Under Florida law, there are several situations that result in the termination or suspension of power of attorney or agent’s authority, including when:
(a) The principal dies;
(b) The principal becomes incapacitated, if the power of attorney is not durable;
(c) The principal is adjudicated totally or partially incapacitated by a court, unless the court determines that certain authority granted by the power of attorney is to be exercisable by the agent;
(d) The principal revokes the power of attorney;
(e) The power of attorney provides that it terminates;
(f) The purpose of the power of attorney is accomplish; or
(g) The agent’s authority terminates and the power of attorney does not provide for another agent to act under the power of attorney.
(2) An agent’s authority is exercisable until the authority terminates. An agent’s authority terminates when:
(a) The agent dies, becomes incapacitated, resigns, or is removed by a court;
(b) An action is filed for the dissolution or annulment of the agent’s marriage to the principal or for their legal separation, unless the power of attorney otherwise provides; or
(c) The power of attorney terminates.
Depending on the situation, you might be the agent who wants to revoke the POA. In that case, you need to revoke the POA in writing. This means creating another writing revoking the power of attorney and ensuring the principle is presented with it.
If you still want a POA but you plan to transfer this power, you first need to revoke the current POA before a transfer can occur. To complete the transfer, you will need to create a new power of attorney and express that the new power of attorney revokes any previous authority given.
What does a power of attorney lawyer do?
Working with a lawyer to create your power of attorney is beneficial for many reasons. Navigating this, or any legal process, can be stressful on your own. With the help of experienced POA attorneys, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress! At the same time, you’ll have the peace of mind that the process is carried out properly.
Benefits of hiring a POA lawyer
Here are some other benefits of hiring a POA lawyer in Florida:
- Minimizing legal challenges and issues in court
- Ensuring your instructions are carry out
- Giving you confidence and peace of mind in uncertain times
Creating a Power of Attorney in Florida
Working with a power of attorney lawyer in Florida ensures your POA document is properly create, the correct language is used, and no details are miss that could negatively affect you in the future.
No matter what kind of power of attorney is right for you or the questions you may have about taking this step, we’re here to help. The power of attorney lawyers at Garcia Law can guide you through this process and ensure compliance with state laws so there are no steps or important points missed.
Did you learn a lot from “What Does a Power of Attorney Do in Florida?”
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