Understanding the Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know

The power of attorney is a legal document that grants an agent or proxy authority over certain decisions on behalf of a principal. Learn more about durable and regular powers of attorney.

Understanding the Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know

The power of attorney is a legal document that grants an agent or proxy the authority to make decisions on behalf of a principal. In order for the power of attorney to be valid under Florida law, it must be signed by the principal, two witnesses to the principal's signature, and a notary must recognize the principal's signature. The principal must choose someone they trust to act as their POA. The documents can be obtained online or through an attorney, and both parties must sign the documentation.

A third party is usually required to witness it. The type of POA you create dictates what issues you are granting power over. It is often necessary for someone else to act on your behalf, and this can be done with a power of attorney. The principal is the person granting the power, and the agent or proxy in fact is the person receiving it. At the end of the day, durable power of attorney and medical care substitute designation are two of the most important and powerful documents an attorney can draft.

It is important that the lawyer preparing his power of attorney draws up the document in a way that does not expose his lawyer in fact to unforeseen consequences of estate tax. Also known as a special power of attorney, this POA document limits the agent to a certain number of conditions. A durable financial power of attorney can prevent a financial disaster in case you become incapacitated. A power of attorney must be crafted with great care to avoid any problems in order to accurately identify when the triggering event has occurred. It defines your authority and limits, if any, and allows you to choose who will act on your behalf.

If you're buying or selling assets and don't want to appear in person to close the transaction, you can take advantage of a power of attorney. A general power of attorney agreement ends when the principal becomes incapacitated, revokes the power of attorney, or dies. For example, the POA could simply empower someone to represent you at a real estate closure in another city. If no land is to be dealt with, it is not legally necessary to sign a power of attorney in front of a notary or have it registered, but notarization may be prudent. An agent may have access to your bank accounts, the power to make donations and transfer your funds, and the ability to sell your property.

Others, however, in order to empower their agent to minimize state wealth tax, could continue or add such power. It is important to understand all aspects of a power of attorney before signing one. Because it is one of the most important legal documents you can have, it's important to know if you want a durable or regular power of attorney. If you have any questions about Florida's power of attorney, be sure to complete the form on this page and I'll answer them personally.