An Overview of Durable Power of Attorney in Florida

An Overview of Durable Power of Attorney in Florida

January 25, 2020

Power of attorney is a type of legal document, often used in the realm of estate planning, that grants one person authority to act on another’s behalf. The person who creates the power of attorney, known as the “principal,” chooses an “agent” they trust to make these decisions for them when they are unable to do so.

Power of attorney can be used for making healthcare decisions, signing contracts, conducting financial transactions, signing legal documents, creating trusts, making gifts or taking other similar types of actions.

The term “durable” power of attorney in Miami, FL refers to a power of attorney that remains in effect during the principal’s incapacitation. Other forms of power of attorney that are not durable would no longer be valid if the principal is legally considered incapacitated. So, with durable power of attorney, the agent would maintain powers to make healthcare or financial decisions on behalf of the principal even in end-of-life situations.

Here’s a closer look at what this could mean.

Durable power of attorney for healthcare

Under durable power of attorney for healthcare, your agent would continue to oversee your medical care and make decisions on your behalf while you are unable to do so. Your healthcare agent will work closely with all of your care providers, including doctors, nurses and specialists, to make sure the care you receive aligns with your stated wishes.

Your agent is legally bound to follow any instructions and preferences you outline in the power of attorney document, so you do not have to worry about your agent “going rogue” and making decisions you do not approve of. However, there may come a point at which your agent needs to make a decision that you did not cover in your wishes. In such a circumstance, their duty is to make a decision that would align with your wishes to the best of their understanding.

You can use a living will to record these wishes, and it is a good idea to be as thorough as possible to avoid placing your agent in a difficult situation with potential end-of-life care decisions.

Durable power of attorney for finances

Financial power of attorney means your agent has the power to handle various types of financial transactions and matters on your behalf. You can provide this person with as much authority over your finances as you wish, but tasks they might take on include filing tax returns on your behalf, performing all types of financial transactions (including sales and purchases of property), establishing and maintaining trusts, sorting your mail, dealing with Social Security checks and managing your various bank and investment accounts.

Your agent does not have to have a financial background, though it can be helpful. They just need to be someone you trust with your personal information and who you believe is organized and capable of handling the job.

The law office of Ruben J. Padron, PA has been working with area clients for over a decade. For more information about durable power of attorney in Miami, FL, we encourage you to contact us today.

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