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If you or a loved one are getting on in years and are worried about your capacity to make decisions, it might be time to consider getting a power of attorney.
Elder fraud is becoming more and more common. Scammers target seniors and con them out of their savings.
Many people fear that a power of attorney will strip them of their ability to make decisions for themselves. However, this is not the case.
Here is everything you need to know about how to get power of attorney in Florida.
What Is Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document. It grants legal permission for a person, called an agent, to make certain decisions on the behalf of another person, known as a principal.
Granting power of attorney is an important aspect of estate planning. Most often, a power of attorney goes into effect when the principal isn’t competent to make certain decisions on their own.
A power of attorney is often granted to a close relative of the principal. It is important to choose an agent you trust implicitly to make decisions in your best interest.
What’s the Difference Between a Medical POA and a Financial POA?
A medical power of attorney (medical POA), is an advanced directive. It deals specifically with making medical decisions on behalf of the principal.
A medical POA differs from a financial POA. A financial power of attorney grants an agent the power to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal.
How To Get Power of Attorney
The best way to approach the process of getting power of attorney is to consult a power of attorney lawyer. An experienced lawyer will offer the most efficient route to getting power of attorney.
In order to get power of attorney, you must be named as the agent in the legal power of attorney document or through a court order.
Different types of power of attorney go into effect at different times and under different circumstances.
Springing Power of Attorney
A springing power of attorney goes into effect when a specific qualifying event occurs. It is also known as emergency power of attorney.
In most cases, a springing power of attorney gets granted when the principal becomes incapacitated.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney goes into immediate effect upon signing. A durable power of attorney remains valid after the principal becomes incapacitated.
However, if the term “durable” isn’t specified in the contract, the power of attorney gets voided once the principal is incapacitated.
General Power of Attorney
General power of attorney is the most comprehensive form of power of attorney.
It gives all powers, rights, and responsibilities to the agent effective immediately and those powers end when the principal becomes incapacitated or dies.
General power of attorney can be a good option if a person is not incapacitated, but still requires significant help in certain areas.
Limited Power of Attorney
A limited power of attorney grants the agent power over making certain decisions and not others. It requires very specific and exact language and determinations.
For example, a limited power of attorney may grant an agent the power to make financial decisions related to real estate, but not any other personal property.
Deciding Whether Power of Attorney Is Right for You and Your Loved One
If you are considering how to get power of attorney for a loved one, chances are their health is on the decline. It is best to talk to your loved one early about a power of attorney when they are competent to give permission.
For more articles like this one, visit our Law section.