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Attorney in Fact

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you as the principal to give another trusted person, the agent or attorney-in-fact, authority to act for you. A power of attorney is a powerful tool that allows others to engage in financial transactions on your behalf when you are unable to be present. In some cases the absence is due to the principal being out of town or having a scheduling conflict. In other cases the power of attorney was designed to give the agent the authority to act on behalf of the principal should the principal become incapacitated due to an illness or accident. To learn more about the benefits of a power of attorney, contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale attorney-in-fact lawyer.

Types of Power of Attorney

There are a variety of different types of powers of a attorney. They differ in the power they confer, when they become effective, and when they end.

  • General power of attorney. A general power of attorney or attorney-in-fact gives the agent broad powers to conduct all types of financial transactions.
  • Limited power of attorney. In contrast to a general power of attorney, a limited power of attorney or special power of attorney limits or restricts the authority delegated to the agent. The agent may be given to authority to complete a single transaction or a certain type of transaction.
  • Durable power of attorney. Generally a power of attorney is terminated if the principal becomes incapacitated from an accident or illness. If the power of attorney is durable it will remain in effect despite the principal’s incapacity. Under Florida law, incapacitated is defined as the inability to do what is required to obtain, administer, and dispose of property.
  • Spring power of attorney. A springing power of attorney becomes effective upon the happening of an event. Oftentimes the event is the incapacity of the principal. Durable powers of attorney are often also springing. However, as an attorney-in-fact lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will explain, Florida no longer recognizes springing powers of attorney. Powers of attorney are effective as of the date executed. Under the Florida Power of Attorney law, a power of attorney is ineffective if the power of attorney provides that it is to become effective at a future date or upon the occurrence of a future event or contingency.
Executing a Power of Attorney

Under Florida law there are specific requirements for qualifying to serve as an agent. The person must be at least 18 years old and must be mentally competent. The agent can be a financial institution that has trust powers, and is authorized to conduct trust business in Florida.

According to the Florida Power of Attorney Act, in order for a power of attorney to be effective it must be signed by the principal as well as two witnesses. It must also be notarized.

Ending a Power of Attorney
If you would like to revoke power given to your agent, discuss the details with an experienced Fort Lauderdale attorney-in-fact attorney lawyer. In general the authority given in a power of attorney ends upon the following events: the principal dies, the principal becomes incapacitated, the principal rescinds the power of attorney, a new power of attorney is executed, the purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished, or when the agent is no longer willing or able to act as the attorney-in-fact. In addition, if the agent is a spouse, the power of attorney ends upon the filing a petition for divorce. If the power of attorney is “durable” is will remain in effect even after the principal becomes incapacitated.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

A power of attorney is a very powerful document. It is important that it is carefully drafted, reviewed, and executed. It is also important that great care is taken in determining who you select as your attorney-in-fact. In order to ensure that your powers of attorney are created in a many that will meet your goals, it is important to work with an experienced attorney-in-fact lawyer serving Fort Lauderdale. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates will ensure that your power of attorney is consistent with your needs. We are here to help. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.