Powers of Attorney

Florida’s rules regarding Powers of Attorney have become quite specific and strict over time.  It is important when executing a Power of Attorney to not only think about yourself, but also the audience to which the Power of Attorney may be presented in the future.  Powers of Attorney can be established for very specific situations or more general purposes, though even the more general Powers of Attorney should be specific regarding the individual powers they convey.  Many people do not realize that institutions are not required to accept a Power of Attorney under certain circumstances, therefore a thoroughly written Power of Attorney can narrow the circumstances under which the Power of Attorney will not be accepted.

Most clients require two types of Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney for financial and business affairs, and a Healthcare Power of Attorney for medical needs.  Both types of Power of Attorney permit the Principal (the person signing the Power of Attorney) to appoint an Agent (also called an Attorney-in-Fact or a Surrogate) to conduct his or her affairs.  The Agent is usually a trusted family member or close friend since the powers delegated to the Agent are often very broad and an Agent’s actions can have lasting effects.  Co-Agents can also be appointed if desired, though this may make certain of their functions more cumbersome in practice. 

Designating an Agent through a Power of Attorney should be considered by everyone for the simple fact that once the Power of Attorney is needed (after an accident or incompetency of the Principal), it is usually too late to establish one for the shear fact that competency and certain disabilities render the establishment of a Power of Attorney impossible.  In such cases, a Guardianship appointment is likely needed and the Guardianship process can be a very long and expensive Court process.

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Orlando Office

The Heaven Building
8240 Exchange Drive
Suite C6
Orlando, Florida 32809
Phone (407) 850-2500
Fax (407) 850-2580

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