Power of Attorneys
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows an individual to delegate authority to another to act on their behalf. They have the option to grant them as much or as little power as they deem necessary.
It’s important to hire a professional when creating a power of attorney so they can ensure that the power is being properly assigned as per the wishes of the individual.
In Florida, the POA must be executed by a competent adult and signed in the presence of two adult witnesses.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney gives broad powers to a person or organization (known as an agent or attorney-in-fact) to act on your behalf. These powers include handling financial and business transactions, buying life insurance, settling claims, operating business interests, making gifts, and employing professional help.
General power of attorney is an effective tool if you will be out of the country and need someone to handle certain matters, or when you are physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs. A general power of attorney is often included in an estate plan to make sure someone can handle financial matters.
Special Power of Attorney
You can specify exactly what powers an agent may exercise by signing a special power of attorney. This is often used when one cannot handle certain affairs due to other commitments or health reasons.
Selling property (personal and real), managing real estate, collecting debts, and handling business transactions are some of the common matters specified in a special power of attorney document.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney grants your agent authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make decisions on your own.
While not the same thing as a living will, many states allow you to include your preference about being kept on life support. Some states will allow you to combine parts of the health care POA and living will into an advanced health care directive.
Durable Power of Attorney
Suppose you become mentally incompetent due to illness or accident while you have a power of attorney in effect. Will the document remain valid? To safeguard against any problems, you can sign a durable power of attorney. This is simply a general, special, or health care POA that has a durability provision to keep the current power of attorney in effect.
You might also sign a durable power of attorney to prepare for the possibility that you may become mentally incompetent due to illness or injury. Specify in the power of attorney that it cannot go into effect until a doctor certifies you as mentally incompetent. You may name a specific doctor who you wish to determine your competency, or require that two licensed physicians agree on your mental state.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Gretchen Ortiz can help you
create a power of attorney, along with any other estate planning documents you may need.
So, call us,
we are the right choice!
Contact us today for wise counsel in matters of Estate Planning. Our law firm proudly serves clients in all of Central Florida, including Orlando and the surrounding cities.