Power of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a useful tool that allows you to designate someone else (an agent) to act on your behalf should you become physically or mentally incapacitated. While no one wants to think of themselves in a situation where they can no longer make decisions for themselves, it’s best to take the initiative and address these issues now, long before the need for such decision-making assistance should arise.
You can designate an agent (perhaps a spouse or trusted loved one) to legally conduct financial transactions or make healthcare decisions on your behalf. The rules of power of attorney are outlined in Florida’s statutes. To meet Florida’s specific requirements, it’s best to have your document written by an experienced power of attorney lawyer to provide you the legal protection you need.
Different Types of Powers of Attorney for Financial Transactions
There are a few different ways an agent can be given authority to act on behalf of an individual (the principal).
- General power of attorney – grants the agent a broad range of powers to conduct banking, real estate transactions, and other financial transactions
- Limited or special power of attorney – limits the agent’s authority to a specific kind of transaction or a certain time period
- Durable power of attorney – continues after the principal is incapacitated
- Enhanced durable power of attorney – takes long-term care planning into consideration and empowers the agent to sign contracts, handle finances, create or amend trusts, deal with insurance, and even apply for government benefits on the principal’s behalf
Healthcare Power of Attorney or Healthcare Surrogate
Also known as a medical power of attorney or advance directives, a designation of healthcare surrogate (as it’s known in Florida) designates a surrogate to make important medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Accidents or illnesses that lead to incapacitation are often unexpected, so it’s important for anyone over the age of 18 to have this type of POA in place.
It’s important to go over power of attorney requirements with a knowledgeable lawyer to make sure you have the right documents in place to allow trusted agents to act on your behalf if needed.
Smith Law – Experienced Power of Attorney Team in Pensacola, Florida
When it comes to drafting documents that would allow someone else to act on your behalf, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all POA. No single document can empower an agent to do anything and everything for you. For that reason, it’s important to have a skilled lawyer who can help you decide what you might need and then craft a POA that will meet those needs.
The attorneys at Smith Law, PLLC, can help you determine what you’ll need to lay a strong foundation for your future. We have more than a decade of experience providing guidance to our clients on how best to prepare for every eventuality to protect themselves and their family, including the creation of durable power of attorneys. We strive to cover every detail no matter where you are in the estate planning process.
Should you need help deciding what actions to take against an agent who has made a bad decision or who has been accused of mishandling the principal’s assets, our power of attorney litigation lawyer can assist. We have trial experience and will fight to protect your best interests.
We look forward to meeting you and addressing any concerns you may have about designating agents to act on your behalf. We are here to support you in the best way as you move forward and to offer guidance based on your unique situation and needs.
Give us a call to schedule your free initial consultation with our POA expert today.
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