Florida Power of Attorney
A Florida power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to delegate authority to someone else. The person granting the power is the principal and gives someone else the right to act on his or her behalf as an agent. What you grant attorney for will vary depending on the specific language including in the power of attorney document. It can be very broad or narrow and limited to only a few acts.
What Would You Need a Power of Attorney For?
Some examples of what people do with a power of attorney include:
- Sell a home or other property
- Give access to bank accounts
- Have the ability to sign a contract or other legal documents
- Authority to make health care decisions
You can tailor the power of attorney to allow the agent to handle a number of legal issues, not just these listed here. As long as the action is legal, you are not really limited. You can even have a power of attorney to create trusts and make gifts.
Different Types of Power of Attorney Documents
It’s important to meet with a Florida probate attorney when you are considering drafting a power of attorney. Your attorney will discuss the different types of power of attorney documents available and which one would be best for you. These include:
Limited power of attorney: This is the power of attorney you want when you want someone to do a specific act. An example of a limited power of attorney is where you delegate the authority to sell a house in a different state and need someone local to handle the transaction.
General Power of Attorney: This is the option when you want the power of attorney to be broad and give them authority to do plenty of wide variety of things. You still must spell out what activities are included.
Durable Power of Attorney: With other power of attorney documents, the authority is terminated in the event the principal becomes incapacitated. With a durable power of attorney, it will remain in effect even if you are incapacitated. In Florida, it must contain special wording that its power survives the principal’s incapacity.
Litigation Related to a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney document can lead to probate litigation in Florida. It can happen where someone in the family, a friend, neighbor, or even a spouse misuses a Florida power of attorney. The person who was given the authority is the agent and is therefore a fiduciary. This means that the agent has to act in the best interests of the principal. They have to use the power of attorney for the exclusive benefit of the principal.
Stealing or fraudulent acts qualify as misuse. You can be held liable for civil damages if you’re found to be misusing a power of attorney.
Retaining an Attorney
It’s important to take time to consider what you want your power of attorney to accomplish and be honest about how much authority you trust the agent to have. If you need assistance with Florida power of attorney documents, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. at 561-571-8970.