Guiding Families Along The Gulf Coast Since 1994

Why Everyone Should Have Powers Of Attorney In Place

We all need a little assistance from time to time. As people get older, serious problems can arise if someone’s capacity to handle key tasks diminishes significantly.

If you are concerned that you or an elderly loved one no longer is able to manage finances, pay monthly bills or make health care decisions, it might be time to consider a power of attorney.

I’m Nancy Oset, an estate planning lawyer with more than 25 years of experience. At my firm in Palm Harbor, The Law Office of Nancy J. Oset, I provide a wide range of estate planning services, including power of attorney documents. I customize each grant of legal authority to fit the precise objectives of clients and to anticipate future concerns that could arise.

No matter what your current situation involves, I can provide the compassionate guidance you need to ensure that you have the right legal tools and protections in place.

Types Of Powers Of Attorney Available In Florida

A power of attorney is an estate planning document that transfers authority from one person, known as the principal, to another person, called the agent. Through a power of attorney, or POA, you can appoint someone you trust to manage necessary tasks for your health, safety and welfare.

Florida law recognizes three main types of power of attorney grants:

  • General power of attorney – Once executed, this document transfers all authority the principal held to the agent. The agent is then empowered to manage finances, buy and sell property, pay bills, take out loans and make medical decisions on the principal’s behalf.
  • Limited power of attorney – Not everyone is comfortable with the sweeping transfer of power authorized by a general POA. If a principal wants to retain some autonomy, he or she can shift specifically named powers to an agent. Have finances become too tedious? You can give a trusted individual the ability to manage your investments and pay your bills. Do you find discussing your medical conditions unsettling? It might be better for your health to grant medical power of attorney to a capable loved one who can process complex information from your providers.
  • Durable power of attorney – This POA can be general or limited, does trigger the transfer of authority in the state of Florida from the time it is signed. This POA can be enacted in a situation where one may be in a situation where they can;t sign any transactions. For example, you can state that if you are ever mentally incapacitated, your designated agent will have the authority to manage your affairs and handle decisions relating to your treatment.

I typically provide these documents for a cost-effective flat fee as part of my bundled estate planning services. I also handle health care surrogate designations through advance directives, which allow you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so.

When you retain my services for your POA, I work closely with you to craft a document that meets your needs now and in the future.

Resolving Disputes Over Powers Of Attorney

As often happens with wills, disputes can arise within families over the validity of a power of attorney. Some family members may feel the agent has used undue influence to be appointed as agent and does not have the principal’s best interests at heart. Someone might question the agent’s ability to manage finances responsibly or make sound health care decisions.

When conflicts occur, it may be necessary to defend the POA in court. In my practice, I represent agents as well as concerned loved ones who seek to challenge someone who they believe to be an unworthy agent.

Learn More About Powers Of Attorney

Find out which powers of attorney are appropriate for your situation and get the legal help you need to gain peace of mind about these important decisions. To get started with a free 30-minute consultation, please call 727-387-3671 or fill out a quick online contact form.