According to the Florida Bar, a power of attorney (POA) designates a named person (the agent) the legal ability to act on behalf of another (the principal). People can use a POA for many reasons, including delegating medical and financial decisions during periods when they cannot.
A Titusville power of attorney lawyer from the Bogin, Munns & Munns estate team can determine if you need a POA and explain the details in depth. Depending on your needs, powers of attorney can be limited in scope or very broad. An estate planning attorney can guide you through your choices to ensure your power of attorney suits your needs.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
As you age, you may need to hand off some of your responsibilities to your children or a trusted agent. In many cases, the avenue to facilitate that is via a power of attorney. You should set up a POA to protect yourself and your assets while permitting your agent to act on your behalf to keep things running smoothly.
Simple powers of attorney can cover a single transaction and self-expire after the agent has completed the required task. Other, more complex documents may be in effect for several years and expire only upon the passing of the principal. It can be beneficial to seek the services of a Titusville power of attorney lawyer when preparing your document. This ensures it meets the requirements of Florida statutes and protects you and your assets from potential misuse.
What Type of Power of Attorney Is Best for Your Needs?
Different types of POAs cover different circumstances. Your power of attorney lawyer serving Titusville will discuss your needs and help you determine the best way to document your desires.
- A limited or special power of attorney grants specific permissions for a brief time. This document can be helpful if you are out of the country and need to have a friend or relative sell something on your behalf, for example.
- General powers of attorney grant more sweeping powers. This POA can permit an agent to conduct banking and real estate transactions and complete other financial management tasks as necessary.
- A medical power of attorney might be called an advanced directive or a living will. It can spell out the requested preferences of the principal regarding medical care, including a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order or organ donation information. This document permits the agent to make medical decisions for the principal when they can no longer verbalize their wishes.
- A power of attorney becomes void when the principal becomes incapacitated, unless it is a durable power of attorney.
Do You Need an Enhanced POA?
A durable power of attorney affords your agent some ability to act if you become incapacitated, but it remains limited in some areas. Each document must carry specific instructions about what your agent is allowed to accomplish on your behalf. It must also specify what your agent cannot do. Pre-made, fill-in-the-blank documents are often insufficient when dealing with the more complex needs of handling an estate for an aging parent.
An enhanced durable POA authorizes your agent to act now and in the future, should you lose the ability to act on your own. By selecting a trusted individual and drafting an enhanced durable POA, you are protecting yourself and your assets. The enhanced durable POA includes language that permits your agent to make decisions about long-term care. They can also be authorized to apply for specific government programs, such as Medicaid, on your behalf.
Discussing your options with our estate team will allow you the opportunity to ask questions, get answers, and determine if an enhanced durable power of attorney will be necessary.
To consult with an experienced power of attorney lawyer serving Titusville, call 855-780-9986
Basic Requirements Remain the Same for All Types of Powers of Attorney
Florida Statutes § 709.2105 lists the requirements for a Florida power of attorney. No matter what type of POA you create, the following rules apply:
- An agent must be at least 18 years old.
- The document must be signed by the agent and two witnesses before a notary.
- The competency of the principal must be established.
If a principal becomes incapacitated after signing a POA, it invalidates the POA unless it is a durable power of attorney. The language within a durable POA must state that it will remain in effect if the principal loses competency.
When Does a Power of Attorney Expire?
Any power of attorney will contain a date when it becomes effective. Not all POAs will have an expiration date. Florida law places limits on requirements for POA expirations.
Limited powers of attorney may expire on a specific date or upon completion of a task they permit an agent to accomplish. In all cases except for durable POAs, the document becomes void if the principal becomes incompetent or they can no longer make necessary decisions.
Powers granted by a power of attorney are not transferable. If an agent cannot fulfill their duties under the POA, they cannot choose someone else to replace them, unless the principal assigned a co-agent in the original document. In that case, the co-agent may continue to act under the POA if the other co-agent cannot continue to provide the specified services.
All POAs, including durable and enhanced durable POAs, become void upon the passing of the principal. At that point, any responsibility for actions included within a POA is transferred to the executor of the decedent’s estate.
Limited vs. Unlimited Powers of Attorney
If you’re unsure whether you need a limited or unlimited power of attorney, you can discuss the matter with your Titusville power of attorney lawyer. They can offer guidance to explain the benefits of each and help you determine which will best suit your needs.
Titusville Power of Attorney Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
Finding a Titusville Power of Attorney Lawyer
While adults of any age can benefit from estate planning, if your parents are nearing their senior years, they would be wise to seek the counsel of a Titusville estate planning attorney. A lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can assist in helping you or your parents understand Florida laws and guide you as you lay out steps for the future.
Part of any estate plan will include a discussion about powers of attorney. Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns to receive the assurance that you can protect your assets and provide for medical needs in the future.