Which Power of Attorney Type Do You Need?

The term “power of attorney” is one that many people have heard in the context of estate planning. Simply put, power of attorney, which is a legal document, gives someone (the agent) to act on behalf of the document’s creator (the principal). What some people do not know is that there are multiple powers of attorney available to Floridians; this legal tool can do much more than allow someone to keep up with another person’s bank accounts. 

Below, we’ll take a look at some of the common types of power of attorney used in Florida. 

Durable Power of Attorney

Most powers of attorney terminate when the principal becomes incapacitated. A principal becomes incapacitated when he or she loses the ability to make informed and sound decisions about important legal matters. A durable power of attorney stays in effect after the principal loses capacity, which is why it’s often an important part of estate plans.

Financial Power of Attorney

This is perhaps the most commonly used power of attorney type in Florida. Among many other things, a general financial power of attorney gives agents the authority to withdraw and deposit money, access safe deposit boxes, pay taxes, and sell certain personal assets. A financial power of attorney can be durable, which means the principal can have peace of mind that his or her finances are in good hands. 

Limited Power of Attorney

If you don’t want your agent to have broad powers for an indefinite period of time, consider making a limited power of attorney. This lets the agent handle a particular financial responsibility or event without handing over the entire set of keys. For example, you can authorize someone to close on a piece of real estate while you’re out of the country on vacation. 

Medical Power of Attorney

There are a variety of ways you can make plans for needed medical care when you no longer have capacity. One way to help ensure that your wishes are followed is by naming an agent for your medical power of attorney. This person can consent on your behalf to certain procedures, arrange for payment of medical services, and authorize transfers to and from certain health care facilities. 

You May Need One, or Several, Powers of Attorney

Or, you might not even need one power of attorney for your estate plan (though many people do). The only way to know for sure is to speak with an experienced Florida attorney who can look at your situation, listen to your goals, and prescribe the most effective way to go forward. Our firm can provide such legal counsel for you and your family. Call us at (305) 227-4030 to discuss how to move forward.