If you need to create a power of attorney in Florida, finding the assistance to get it done right and protect all parties involved is essential. A St. Cloud power of attorney lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can help.
With an interview and a series of questions about your needs and goals, our estate planning team will help craft a document that covers your legal needs without leaving loopholes for exploitation.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Create a Power of Attorney in St. Cloud?
The simple answer is no. You can find fill-in-the-blank documents online with free downloads. You can print them, fill in the required information, and have them notarized.
However, when a POA is necessary for estate planning, medical needs, or handling complex financial transactions, these simple, free forms can leave many openings for exploitation or misinterpretation. For complex situations, it is beneficial to seek the advice and assistance of a St. Cloud power of attorney lawyer.
To consult with an experienced power of attorney lawyer serving St. Cloud, call 855-780-9986
What Makes a POA Legal?
Florida Statutes § 709.2105 describes the basic requirements for a legal power of attorney.
- The principal and two witnesses must sign the document in the presence of a notary.
- The designated agent must be at least 18 years old.
- The principal (originator) must be mentally competent.
For example, if your elderly parent has advanced dementia, they cannot sign a POA once the disease has progressed beyond a certain point. In many cases, the authorization of a POA expires when a person becomes mentally incompetent, unless it is a durable POA or expressly states that the document will remain in effect in that event.
According to the Florida Bar, POAs in Florida are non-transferable. That means, for example, that siblings cannot pass responsibility for decisions about their parents to one another unless all the involved siblings are named as agents in the POA.
A power of attorney will automatically expire when the principal passes away, as all matters become the estate executor’s responsibility at that point.
St. Cloud Power of Attorney Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
Are There Different Types of POAs?
The most common type of power of attorney is the durable POA. This document permits the designated agent to perform all the necessary functions as described within the parameters of the POA. It can be broad or limited, based on the principal’s needs. A durable POA does not expire when the principal becomes incapacitated unless the document includes that provision.
Other types of powers of attorney that can be useful include:
- Medical powers of attorney
- General powers of attorney
- Limited powers of attorney
- Special powers of attorney
- Enhanced powers of attorney
You might also hear about “springing powers of attorney,” which become effective only when the principal becomes incapacitated. However, these are no longer used in Florida.
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What Information Will a St. Cloud Power of Attorney Lawyer Need?
When you consult with an estate planning lawyer about a power of attorney, they will need information regarding what you want to include in your power of attorney. In addition to your personal information and identification info, you will need to provide your agent’s:
- Full legal name
- Current address and phone number
- Relationship to you (daughter, son, sister, brother, spouse, etc.)
- Social Security Number or Florida ID/driver’s license number (optional)
If you want the agent to assume responsibility for specific financial dealings, having those listed with contact information for brokers or other persons the agent may need to work with is helpful. This may include information such as:
- Names of financial institutions with contact information
- Account numbers
- Stock listings
- Real estate holdings
When preparing to consult with a St. Cloud POA lawyer, you can also call the office before your appointment to request a list of vital information to take with you.
Submit a Consultation Request form today
Frequently Asked Questions About Powers of Attorney in St. Cloud
Below are the answers to some of the questions our lawyers frequently hear about powers of attorney.
I Want My Spouse to Make Decisions for Me – Do I Still Need a POA?
Many people are under the impression that a spouse can act on their behalf without the need for additional permission in a POA. While this is true in some circumstances, your spouse may not have access to certain accounts or information without a power of attorney.
For example, your spouse cannot sell joint assets, including cars and real estate, without a POA. Therefore, it makes sense to authorize your spouse’s specific abilities with a POA so they can make decisions if you become incapacitated. Creating a durable power of attorney can save headaches as you age.
My Parents Are Getting Older – How Can I Help Them?
If your parents are aging, they may not understand the importance of having a power of attorney for their senior years. It is vitally important to have a POA in place while an elderly parent is still mentally competent, as they must understand:
- What they are signing
- Whom they are authorizing as their agent
- What powers the POA grants to the agent
- What property or assets are included in the POA
It is never too early to consider creating a power of attorney, but it can become too late.
What’s the Different Between Guardianship and a Power of Attorney?
Guardianship might be court-ordered when an adult can no longer handle their affairs. It allows a guardian to perform on behalf of another person. They will be responsible for legal and medical decisions when a person (the “ward”) has become unable to function in that capacity.
With a power of attorney, you choose an agent who can make decisions on your behalf. With guardianship, the court chooses your decision-maker (“guardian”) for you.
My Parents Already Have Wills – Do They Need a POA Too?
Yes, because a will doesn’t take effect until they pass away. A POA permits an agent to act while your parents are living to keep their financial and medical needs met as necessary.
Whether your parents are designating each other or someone else as their agent, designating someone to make decisions before death is essential. A St. Cloud power of attorney lawyer can discuss the benefits of having a financial and medical plan.
A St. Cloud Power of Attorney Lawyer Can Address Your Needs
The estate team at Bogin, Munns & Munns can assist you in drafting powers of attorney. This process will help keep your life or your parents’ lives running smoothly should anything happen. Our St. Cloud power of attorney lawyer can explain all the necessary parts of a POA and the scope of permissions each offers an agent. Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns for a consultation today.