Lake Wales Power of Attorney Lawyers
Help Establishing Powers of Attorney in Central Florida
Powers of attorney are estate planning tools that can be used for a variety of purposes. To fully understand what these tools can do, it is important to discuss your needs with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.
At Weaver Loveless Law, our team can provide the education, advice, and follow-through you need to execute these vital documents. With over 40 years of experience in estate law, we can help you protect your best interests. Our POA attorneys have built a reputation for delivering friendly, caring service that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.
Need to establish a power of attorney? Call our Lake Wales lawyers at (863) 657-0770 to schedule a free consultation today.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney allows you to grant another person the power to act on your behalf should you:
- Become incapacitated
- Become unable to communicate your wishes
- Need someone to assist with your daily affairs.
Your named person is your “attorney in fact" in a power of attorney document. This agent of authority may be granted the power to handle your financial matters or other personal affairs as designated. Power of attorney forms must be signed in front of a licensed notary public to ensure the validity of the document.
There are many different types of powers of attorney. The power of attorney document you create and the powers granted will depend on your goals and needs.
We can help you establish different kinds of powers of attorney, including:
- Durable power of attorney - Without this POA, a conservator or guardian would need to represent you if you become incapacitated. This document remains in effect until your death.
- Healthcare power of attorney - Appoints someone to make health care decisions for you should you be unable to make them yourself.
The Responsibilities of the Agent in a Power of Attorney
If you are appointed as an agent in a POA document, you will have many responsibilities. You will have a duty to fulfill the wishes of the "principal" in regards to their financial and medical matters. This duty applies even if the wishes of the principal conflict with your own.
For example, you may be serving as the agent to an aging parent. Your parent's power of attorney document may indicate their wishes to not pursue life support should they be put in such a situation. Even though you have power over their medical decisions, you cannot go against your parent's stated wishes. Doing so would be a breach of fiduciary duty, which can lead to litigation.
Understanding Power of Attorney Laws in Florida
In October 2011, Florida's Power of Attorney Act went into effect. This act included several important provisions in regards to powers of attorney in Florida.
- Divorce - Even if not finalized, a divorce terminates the spouse's authority to act as an agent
- Document copies - Photocopies and electronic images of POAs are now considered valid as long as the original document is filed
- Multiple Agents - If multiple agents are named in the POA, they can act independent of each other unless stated otherwise
- Third Parties - Reluctant third parties can be forced to act if the POA is valid. Third parties can be held legally liable if an unreasonable delay results in a financial loss or damages
- Specific Provisions - POA documents must list specific authorities, and agents cannot take actions that are not specified in the POA
- Agent Compensation - Agents are entitled to compensation for completing their duties, with some restrictions
Establishing a Power of Attorney in Florida
To set up a power of attorney agreement for yourself or an elderly loved one, you and your lawyer can follow a simple process.
The process for getting a power of attorney is as follows:
- Choose the "agent," or person who may act on behalf of the "principal," who is at least 18 years of age
- Choose two adults to serve as witnesses
- Fill out the power of attorney documents provided by your attorney
- Have the agent and principal sign the POA document
Our attorneys at Weaver Loveless can help you craft your power of attorney and ensure it is valid under Florida law. We can help ensure you and anyone else involved feels confident in your decision.
Consult with a Lawyer on Your Power of Attorney
Like wills and trusts, powers of attorney are valuable legal documents. Let the attorneys at Weaver Loveless Law use their extensive experience to help you craft the correct documents for your needs.
Let us help you create a power of attorney. Reach out to our Lake Wales office today for comprehensive legal services at (863) 657-0770.
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