Every adult has the exclusive right to make decisions concerning their property. This includes deciding whether to buy, sell, or transfer assets to others. However, situations do arise where a person loses the ability to make these essential decisions. When this occurs, it may be necessary to have documentation in place that empowers others to act on your behalf.
Creating a power of attorney with the help of Marc Brow, P.A., our estate planning attorney, is the most direct way to achieve this result. These legal documents give others the exclusive ability to act on your behalf in a legal capacity. This can include a general power of attorney or documents that empower others for a specific purpose. Our Fort Lauderdale power of attorney lawyer could provide more information about these legal documents and how or why they may be necessary to protect your rights and property.
How to Select Your Power of Attorney
Your first step, if you want to establish a power of attorney, will be to select someone you trust to handle your affairs if and when you are unable. Whoever you select as your agent must be a person you trust with your life, because that is exactly what you will be doing. You cannot be too careful.
Choose someone who is qualified for the task. Your agent should be committed to your best long-term interests, attentive to details, have financial knowledge and experience, and be comfortable doing business with lawyers, bankers, accountants, and medical professionals.
Talk with that person about your power of attorney and an agent’s responsibilities. Having that discussion will help you know if you have chosen the right person. You should also name a successor agent in case the person you select can’t serve as your agent when he or she is needed.
Depending on the terms of your power of attorney document, the individual you choose will have access to and make important decisions about your home, personal property, medical care, financial accounts, and business affairs.
Legal Steps Involved in Establishing a Power of Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Powers of attorney are potent legal documents. They allow a person to make legal choices on behalf of another without court intervention. As such, the law is very particular about how these documents can be created and authenticated.
Florida Statute § 709.2105 states that the party creating a power of attorney must personally sign the document. Furthermore, at least two witnesses must observe the execution of the document and add their signatures.
When creating a power of attorney, it is vital to understand the impact of these documents. A general power of attorney empowers another to take control over every aspect of your life. They also last for an indefinite period of time that ends only upon your death or express revocation of the document. By contrast, a specific power of attorney grants authority for only an explicit purpose. These documents lose their legal impact upon the completion of that goal.
Our knowledgeable attorney could help you understand the legal impact and requirements involved in creating power of attorney documents.
Common Uses for Powers of Attorney
Someone you designate to act as your power of attorney can perform numerous functions, including:
- Buy or sell assets – like real estate or vehicles
- Pay taxes
- Apply for government benefits
- Pursue lawsuits
- Make medical decisions
For these reasons, it is essential to only enact these documents under specific circumstances. If you believe you will soon be unable to care for yourself as the result of a progressing illness, for example, you may want to enact a power of attorney while you still can make good decisions. To this end, you must ensure that the proposed holder of these powers will only act for in your best interests.
Our understanding Fort Lauderdale power of attorney lawyer can help you select the person in your life who is both reliable and trustworthy.
Reach out to a Power of Attorney Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale Today
Situations can arise where you want to empower another individual to act on your behalf for either a specific purpose or to take control over all your affairs. The most direct way to accomplish this is to create a power of attorney.
Our Fort Lauderdale power of attorney lawyer is ready to guide you through this process. We can work to explain the legal concepts and requirements involved and guide you through determining your specific needs and drafting documents that leave no doubt as to your intent. Contact Marc Brow, P.A. today to get started.