A Power of Attorney allows and gives authority for someone to act in another’s legal capacity such as selling property, accessing bank accounts, signing contracts, handling financial transactions, making health care decisions, or signing legal documents. A Power of Attorney can be very broad, including all of the above acts (“General Power of Attorney”), or very limited, such as allowing for only the purchase/sale of real property (“Limited Power of Attorney”).
The “Principal” is the maker of the Power of Attorney. The “Agent” is the party given such power, and the “Third Party” is the person whom the Agent has dealings with on behalf of the Principal. Key to the validity of a Power of Attorney is the execution, or signing, of the Power of Attorney in accordance with Florida law. The Principal must understand the effect of the document, whom the Agent is and what powers are being conveyed at the time of signing.
Generally, a Power of Attorney terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated, unless it is a Durable Power of Attorney. This type of Power of Attorney will remain effective even if you become incapacitated. Most Powers of Attorney granted today are Durable Powers of Attorney.
To read more about estate planning, visit our estate planning page that provides a general overview. If you have further questions and would like to meet with one of our Tampa estate planning attorneys, please contact us for a free initial consultation.