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Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney refers to legal documents authorizing the delegation of decision-making from one person to another in regards to financial matters. A Power of Attorney allows individuals to choose a trusted person or organization to act on their behalf if unavailable or unable to manage decisions personally. Some examples of these decisions or matters include but are not limited to:

● Signing contracts or other legal documents.
● Handling financial transactions.
● Buying and selling real estate assets.
● Banking transactions.
● Settling insurance claims.
● Filing tax returns.
● Designating beneficiaries on retirement, life insurance, and other accounts.
● Suing or defending lawsuits.
A Power of Attorney is all about placing your savings, assets, and even your life in the hands of another, which could impact the lives of your loved ones as well. The attorneys at the Miller Elder Law Firm possess an unmatched level of experience in the drafting of Power of Attorney documents.

If you or a loved one need a power of attorney form drafted, contact our knowledgeable and welcoming attorneys by calling the Miller Elder Law Firm office, located in Gainesville, Florida, at (352) 379-1900 or contact us online.

Types of Powers of Attorney

A Power of attorney is a legal document that transfers the authority to make legal decisions from one person to another. In Florida, the individual delegating power is referred to as the “principal,” and the party enabled to act on the principal’s behalf is referred to as the “attorney-in-fact.” A principal must be mentally competent when signing a Power of Attorney in order for the document to be valid. Although they all end upon the principal’s death, there are different types of powers of attorney in accordance with longevity, purpose, and other factors:

  • General Power of Attorney: This document grants authority from a principal to an attorney-in-fact for a variety of matters if the principal is unable to handle them. Because a General Power of Attorney becomes void if the principal becomes incapacitated, it is used by many only as a temporary transfer of legal power.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: This type of Power of Attorney is characterized by its longevity, hence the name “durable.” The document transfers legal decision-making power from a principal to an attorney-in-fact, and it may even remain valid if the principal becomes incapacitated.
  • Limited Power of Attorney: In this document, the principal grants specific powers to the attorney-in-fact for specific situations and becomes void if the principal becomes incapacitated. For example, the principal may authorize the attorney-in-fact to sell a particular item only.
  • Springing Power of Attorney: Under Florida’s new Durable Power of Attorney Statute, effective October 1, 2011, Springing Durable Powers of Attorney are no longer effective under Florida law. Previously, “Springing Durable Power of Attorney” gave a person an alternative to granting his or her attorney-in-fact the immediate right to take control of the principal’s property. Individuals with a Springing Power of Attorney drafted prior to October 1, 2011 should consult an Elder Law attorney to obtain a new Power of Attorney and understand the changes to the law.

Why should I contact the Miller Elder Law Firm for a Power of Attorney?

It is crucial to obtain competent assistance when it comes to entrusting your property, future, and life, to another, because of all the possible things that may go wrong if you try to do so without proper legal counsel. It is easy to fall for the downloadable Power of Attorney forms offered by numerous websites nowadays, but it involves great risk. Drafting a Power of Attorney that is not in accord with the Florida statutes will make the document invalid. If no drafting of a Power of Attorney is in place, the only option is a guardianship to manage financial affairs. The process is expensive, unpleasant, and subject to the courts’ discretion. Also, drafting a Power of Attorney without legal guidance may complicate the process of revoking a document of this kind in the event of an incompetent or untrustworthy attorney-in-fact. The Miller Elder Law Firm provide you with highly qualified knowledge and care, to make sure that your Power of Attorney complies with state laws, and that you will be protected from future harm. Contact The Miller Elder Law Firm today at (352) 379-1900 or contact us online.