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Why would I Need a Power of Attorney?


Planning for the unexpected is a responsible thing to do. One unforeseen circumstance is falling into a situation where our ability to make decisions has been compromised. While this might happen for a great number of reasons – for example, an accident, or falling into a medically-induced coma – one item that is always a useful item to have in these times is a Power of Attorney.

A power of attorney is a legal document which grants the authority to make decisions on your behalf to a designated individual. These Power of Attorney documents come into play when decisions need to be made that you are unable to dictate. This article will introduce some key aspects behind the significance of the Power of Attorney, and how these legal vehicles can safeguard your estate.

  1. The Basics of a Power of Attorney

There are, generally speaking, three types of Power of Attorney (POA): limited, general, and durable.


 The “limited power of attorney” will give a designated person the authority to conduct a specified action. For example, a person might delegate the authority to sell a piece of their personal property to another person who is local to the area. This power is “limited,” as the authority to act on someone’s behalf is solely granted in one, designated item or area.


 The “general power of attorney” will usually grant a person (agent) broad power to perform legal acts on behalf of a person (principal). In order for the activity to be authorized it must be specifically listed within the power of attorney as a granted power.


 A durable power of attorney generally remains effective even if a person becomes incapacitated. While Florida law provides some exceptions, a durable power of attorney is one that will remain in force even if the principal becomes incapacitated.

  1. Estate Planning and Power of Attorney

Implementing a power of attorney can bring many benefits to your life and the maintenance and growth of your estate. A properly executed power of attorney can enable your agents to work hard on your behalf and make decisions in real time. Appointing a competent agent can help to ensure you’re your estate’s finances are managed, property transactions are made and completed successfully, and  other important decisions are made.

Power of attorney documents become even more essential when/if a principal becomes incapacitated. Enacting these legal vehicles can help to ensure that important decisions continue to be made by those individuals that you most trust to act on your behalf.

  1. Other Long-term Benefits of Power of Attorney

A power of attorney can have countless applications and benefits, unique to the individual who implements one in their life. An experienced estate law attorney can help you understand every nuance of this legal tool. Powers of attorney have been used significantly in instances where medical or healthcare decisions need to be made. Principals are able to dictate, in advance, how they would want certain medical situations to be handled – such as the wishes of the agent to be placed on life support or not. This is a decision that often befalls loved ones who do not know what their family member would want. A power of attorney can help the principal to voice their wishes and remove any burden of doubt or uncertainty from those individuals who would otherwise be faced with such choices.

A power of attorney can also be a powerful tool in the process of managing decisions on long-term care, and can help you/your estate avoid potential time-consuming guardianship proceedings. For expert advice that is tailored to the nuances of your own situation, it is always wise to engage with experienced wills and estate attorneys.

Contact Suncoast Civil Law

A power of attorney can help you to maintain autonomy, ensure your estate continues down the path you would choose, and ensure that your wishes are respected. Contact the esteemed Sarasota wills and probate lawyers at Suncoast Civil Law for more information.