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What Is A Durable Power Of Attorney And Why Do I Need One?

What Is A Durable Power Of Attorney And Why Do I Need One?

The Difference Between A Power Of Attorney And A Durable Of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) identifies and authorizes an individual to handle specific issues including finances and health care on your behalf. The term power of attorney refers to the legal document that is created giving someone else the ability to make decisions for you and act on your behalf. The person who is authorized to make decisions is sometimes referred to as an agent or attorney in fact.

A basic POA names the principal, the person who is making the POA, and at least one agent. It needs to include all of the actions the agent is allowed to take on behalf of the principal. It may be helpful to provide a detailed descriptions of the actions included in the POA.

A durable power of attorney appoints an individual to act as an agent on your behalf and remains in effect for the long term, including in the event that you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions for yourself. You can choose anyone to represent you as a durable POA such as a family member or trusted friend with the goal of choosing someone who will honor your wishes if you are no longer able to do that for yourself.

The difference between a power of attorney and a durable power of attorney is that the power of attorney expires if you become mentally incompetent.
What Is A Durable Power Of Attorney And Why Do I Need One?

How To Set Up A Durable Power Of Attorney?

Anyone who wants to obtain a durable power of attorney in Tampa, Florida may contact a power of attorney lawyer to begin the process of creating a durable POA. One of the requirements is that you need to demonstrate you are of sound mind. You need to be able to establish your ability to make sound decisions regarding your wishes about the handling of your finances.

When setting up a durable POA, it is important to identify someone you trust to make decisions for you if you are no longer able to do so. One thing to consider is where the person lives and whether they have a health issue that might hinder their ability to assist you. It may be possible to name more than one agent on the durable POA. An estate planning lawyer can answer any questions you have about making the right choice for someone to represent you.

Once you have made the decision to set up a durable POA and have identified someone you trust to act as your agent, you should set up an appointment with an individual or law firm that provides power of attorney services. If you wish to provide financial compensation to the agent acting on your behalf, that can be implemented when meeting with the lawyer who is setting up your durable power of attorney.

While searching for the best law firms for wills law, be sure to check with friends and family members for recommendations. The state bar association may offer a lawyer reference service and is another resource to check.

Types of Power of Attorney Defined

Establishing a Power of Attorney (POA) is an important part of estate planning. In some states, Statutory Power of Attorney forms are available to help with the planning process. A Statutory POA designates an agent to make health care or financial decisions for you, based on local statutes.

Some states, such as Florida and Michigan, do not offer these forms. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can assist you in establishing a POA to suit your needs. Included below is a list of various types of POA and a brief explanation of each.

General Power of Attorney

This document gives your designated agent broad authority to make decisions regarding your estate, such as financial, real estate, and legal matters. This type of POA is often used for shorter periods to help when you are unavailable.

A Durable General Power of Attorney may also be established, going into effect from the time it is signed, or otherwise designated, until your death.

If you wish to establish a Durable General Power of Attorney after death you will need to assign this person as the Executor of your estate. An agent assigned in a POA will have no right to continue acting on your behalf after you pass unless appointed as your executor.

Medical Power of Attorney

Also known as a Power of Attorney for Healthcare or Advanced Directive, this legal document names an agent to oversee your health care in the event you are unable to. Your agent should be someone you trust to carry out your wishes. If you have specific requests regarding your health care, these requests should be laid out in your POA to give guidance to your agent.

As with other types of POA, the agent no longer has the authority to make decisions for your care once you become incapacitated or die. A Durable Medical Power of Attorney or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare only expires upon death. With a Durable POA, your agent will also be able to make decisions for your end-of-life care should you become incapacitated.

Financial Power of Attorney

This POA designates a close friend, family member, or financial professional to make financial decisions when you are unable to. In some cases, a Financial POA is used for one-off financial deals. For example, you have an out-of-state real estate closing you cannot make, you can designate an agent to act on your behalf.

A Durable Financial Power of Attorney may be utilized in some circumstances. A Durable Financial Power of Attorney would be binding until your death unless you complete a Revocation of Power of Attorney Form, and you are deemed competent to do so.

As with the Durable General Power of Attorney, there is no Durable Financial Power of Attorney after death, but you may elect an Executor of your estate to make these financial decisions for you after you pass.

Springing Power of Attorney

A Springing Financial or Medical Power of Attorney is a type of POA that only goes into effect at a certain time, generally, after you become incapacitated. In this regard, a Springing POA is also a Durable Springing Power of Attorney, because it is enacted when you are incapacitated and ends upon your recovery or death.

It is important to note, Springing Power of Attorneys are not recognized in all states, Florida being one such state.

An experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate these differences and establish the proper POA for your estate planning needs.

Aaron Saoud, Esq.

Call Now For A Personalized Consultation
(813) 773-2900

Call Now For A Personalized Consultation (813) 773-2900