Why Do I Need A Power Of Attorney?
Should you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions regarding your finances or health, having a precautionary measure, such as a power of attorney (POA), can be beneficial. This allows you to designate a person, of your choice, to act legally on your behalf but only within the guidelines of the POA you have established.
Like other aspects of estate planning, age is not the only factor in determining if or when you should establish a POA. The use of a POA, much like wills, trusts and other documents such as pre- and postnuptial agreements, is just another way to ensure your loved ones are protected if the unexpected arises.
What Are The Types Of POAs?
The type of POA you should establish depends on your situation. If considering a POA, it’s recommended that you speak with a knowledgeable lawyer who can inform you about the different types and what they entail. Consult the following list for basic information to see which POA is better suited to your needs:
- General or nondurable power of attorney — Used only for a certain amount of time, often for a singular transaction after which it ceases
- Durable power of attorney — More comprehensive, allows the designated agent to handle all affairs should you become incompetent, ceases upon your death
- Special or limited power of attorney — Relates to financial or banking matters, allows the agent to make a one-time transaction or sales on your behalf
- Medical power of attorney — Allows the agent to decide and make medical decisions related to you should you become incapacitated
- Springing power of attorney — Activated only if you become incapacitated or if prompted by an event
While template versions can be found online, it’s better to let an attorney assist you with preparing a POA that is specific to your circumstances and the state of Florida.