What is a Power of Attorney and why do I need it

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that delegates authority from one person to another person; the person making this document is the Principal.  The make of the Power of Attorney grants the right to act on the maker’s behalf as their Agent.  Your document lists out what this agent’s duties are and what they are able to do and it can be specific or general in its terms.  A Power of Attorney may be used to do several things such as selling a home or a car.  Additionally, it may be used to allow another to access bank accounts, handle financial matters such as paying bills, or to sign a contract.

This document serves while the Principal is still alive and takes effect as soon as it is executed by the Principal.  We advise our clients to choose someone that they fully trust to have this authority because it serves a very important role in the estate planning process.  Additionally, we usually recommend that you have at least one Successor Agent in case the Agent predeceases or is unable to serve in that role.

The Principal must be competent to sign a Power of Attorney and must understand what he or she is signing.  The Principal must understand the effects of this document, what the powers he or she is giving the Agent, and what property may be affected by this document.  Florida requires the Agent to be 18 years or older to serve.  Additionally, the Principal must sign the document in the presence of two witnesses, and a notary must acknowledge the Principal’s signature to be properly executed and valid under Florida law.

We highly recommend that you have an attorney draft this document so that it complies with Florida law.  We always do FREE consultations, no matter what the issue is.  If you have any questions, please contact Aimee at 352-633-9791.