How Powers Of Attorney Can Help
A power of attorney is a useful legal tool through which a person (the principal) can generally delegate the authority to act on his or her behalf to another person (the agent). The scope of this authority is based on language and terms of the document creating the power of attorney. It may include the power to enter into binding agreements, manage and sell real estate, or handle certain health care or financial matters on the principal’s behalf.
Given the wide range of matters that can be addressed via a power of attorney, it is important that a person seeking to create one of these documents seek experienced counsel. A Florida power of attorney lawyer can ensure that the agreement is drafted in a way that reflects the principal’s specific situation, and that it gives the agent precisely the authority that the principal intends.
At Cantwell & Goldman PA, our Brevard County estate lawyers are well versed in drafting and enforcing power of attorney documents. Serving the local community since 1984, we provide personalized legal services and have the experience and ability to assist clients in creating a power of attorney, and to handle a wide variety of other matters.
There are certain basic requirements for creating a power of attorney in Florida. First, the document must be signed by the principal and by two witnesses. The principal’s signature must also be notarized in most circumstances. The document should also clearly identify the agent, and state what the principal is authorizing him or her to do. Although the document is called a “power of attorney,” the agent need not be a lawyer.
Florida law provides for three different types of powers of attorney: limited, general, and durable. A limited power of attorney is one in which the agent is authorized to perform a specific task. That could be buying a car or selling a home in another state, or just about any other activity, provided it is not illegal. A general power of attorney, on the other hand, gives the agent the more broad authority to perform any legal act on the principal’s behalf. However, it should include a specific list of the types of activities authorized.
Limited and general powers of attorney automatically terminate if the principal becomes incapacitated. Meanwhile, a durable power of attorney continues in effect after incapacity. It must contain specific language to that effect.
At Cantwell & Goldman PA, our lawyers are well versed in the different types of powers of attorney and the legal requirements for creating those that are limited, general, and durable. We are familiar with the issues that often come up in drafting and enforcing these documents, and we work vigorously to protect our clients’ rights throughout the process.
If you are interested in creating, terminating, or enforcing a power of attorney, contact the Florida estate planning lawyers at Cantwell & Goldman PA. Our lawyers are available to discuss your particular situation with you and explain how we may be able to assist in an initial consultation. Call our Cocoa office at 866-583-9129 or contact us online.