Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is an extremely powerful legal document that allows one person to make legal and financial decisions for another person and it can only be entered into by two competent adults. Power of Attorney is different from conservatorship, a situation where an adult takes legal guardianship of an incompetent adult. There are different types of Power of Attorney in Florida with different levels of legal power. In legal terms, the person who is signing over their rights via the Power of Attorney is called the “principal,” and the person who receives those rights is called the “attorney-in-fact.” Rights that can be signed over with a Power of Attorney agreement include the right to:
  • sell the principal’s car, home or other property
  • make health care decisions for the principal
  • handle financial transactions for the principal
  • sign legal documents for the principal
Limited Power of Attorney A Limited Power of Attorney agreement gives the attorney-in-fact the right to handle one or more specific legal acts for the principal. Once these acts are completed, the Limited Power of Attorney becomes void. For example, a principal could use a Limited Power of Attorney to authorize someone to sell their home for them in another state. Once the house is sold, the attorney-in-fact no longer retains any of the principal’s legal rights. General Power of Attorney General Power of Attorney is much broader and allows the attorney-in-fact to perform any legal act for the principal. In order to protect themselves, a principal should always hire a lawyer to draft a General Power of Attorney and limit it to only the specific types of legal decisions. Durable Power of Attorney Quite often, the reason to enact a Power of Attorney is to ensure that a person’s wishes are met after they become incapacitated. But a General Power of Attorney becomes null and void when the principal loses competency. The solution to this problem is Durable Power of Attorney, a document that allows Power of Attorney to continue after the principle becomes incapacitated. This type of Power of Attorney is frequently enacted by elderly people who want to ensure that decisions regarding their care meet their wishes. Estate Planning Lawyers If you’re considering using Power of Attorney to sign over some or all of your legal rights, consider your decision carefully. The legal consequences of Power of Attorney are extremely powerful and could have an immense effect on your finances, your medical care, and your legal decisions. Always consult a lawyer before entering any type of Power of Attorney agreement. At Alliance Legal Group, our estate planning lawyers offer free consultations that can help you determine what path is best for you. Aside from helping you with Power of Attorney, our legal team can assist you with the preparation of wills and trusts. To learn more, call Alliance today at (877) 560-4440.