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Powers of Attorney Lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida

What would happen if you were injured in a car accident and in a coma for months? Who would make decisions about your medical treatment or pay your household bills?

Perhaps you have not thought of either of these scenarios—or you have, but are unsure what would happen. If you have the foresight to work with an estate planning attorney like Peter J. Snyder to draft an appropriate power of attorney, you will not need to wonder. Attorney Snyder has been working with clients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Deerfield Beach, Florida for decades, helping them execute powers of attorney to handle the expected and unexpected events in life.

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What is a Power of Attorney in Florida?

To delegate your authority to have someone else handle your personal and business affairs if you cannot, you need to execute one of three types of legal documents called a “power of attorney.” The person who executes the power of attorney is the “principal.” The person to whom the principal delegates authority in the document is the “agent.”

  • In a general power of attorney, the principal authorizes broad but specified powers to the agent to act on the principal’s behalf. The general power of attorney will specify which activities the agent is authorized to handle, but often includes such activities as banking, buying and selling real estate, filing taxes, or managing the principal’s assets.

  • A limited power of attorney allows the principal to grant very specific authority to the agent, and often for a very specific time. For example, the principal may execute a limited power of attorney to authorize an agent to handle the purchase of a home in another state or even another country.

  • Unlike general or limited powers of attorney, a durable power of attorney remains in effect after the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions. A springing durable power of attorney “springs” into action upon the principal’s incapacitation. The authority granted to the agent is specified in the durable power of attorney, usually including the power to manage the principal’s financial affairs and arrange for the principal’s care. To make medical decisions for the principal requires a type of durable power of attorney called a “durable power of attorney for healthcare.”

Why is Having a Power of Attorney a Smart Choice?

It is wise to execute the appropriate powers of attorney so they are in place should the unexpected happen, such as an accident or illness. For example, if you become incapacitated and do not have a legally compliant durable power of attorney executed when you had the capacity to do so, the court will appoint someone to handle payment of your bills, management of your assets, and arrangements for your care. Without the power of attorney, the person who fulfills the role of the agent becomes the choice of the judge rather than your choice.

What Should I Think About in
Drafting My Power of Attorney?

It is a smart decision to execute powers of attorney. It is also wise to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to draft them. When it is time for the agent to use the power of attorney, you do not want to learn the document does not meet Florida’s legal requirements or that a power that should have been included was overlooked.

Your estate planning attorney will have the knowledge and experience to ask broad questions. The answers you provide will inform the scope and content of the document. Moreover, your attorney will give you the information you need to make crucial decisions, such as who is best suited to be your agent, the scope of authority you wish to delegate, and directives for how the agent should conduct the activities delegated.

Power of Attorney Lawyer
in Boca Raton, Florida

Powers of attorney are powerful instruments. Carefully conceived and executed, they allow you to make ultimate life decisions instead of the court. Because you never know when the unexpected may occur, it is never too early to draft powers of attorney documents. Attorney Peter J. Snyder has helped clients in and near Boca Raton, Florida create hundreds of powers of attorney. All you need to do is call to schedule an appointment.