Debunking Three Myths About Power of Attorney in Florida
In the unfortunate event that you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage your own financial and legal affairs, it is crucial that you put a trusted person in the proper position to do so. Powers of attorney do just that — give legal authority to trusted parties. Under Florida law (Florida Power of Attorney Act), there are certain rules and regulations that govern the assignment of power of attorney.
There are also a number of different myths regarding powers of attorney. Many people are confused about what exactly a person with a power of attorney can do and what they cannot do. In this article, our skilled Tampa power of attorney lawyers dispel three of the most common and pernicious myths about powers of attorney in Florida.
Dispelling Three of the Most Common Myths About Power of Attorney
- When You Grant Another Person Your Power of Attorney, It is Permanent
False. You have the right to alter, even revoke your power of attorney. If you grant your power of attorney to another person and you determine that they are no longer in the best position to carry out the duties, you have the authority to make a change. Power of attorney is not permanent. That being said, there is one potential issue: a person must be mentally competent in order to make a change. A person who lacks competence can no longer alter their power of attorney.
- A Person With Power of Attorney Can Handle Financial and Legal Issues After a Death
False. When a person passes away, any power of attorney or healthcare power of attorney is terminated. Fundamentally, the purpose of power of attorney is to give a trusted person to the legal authority to take care of another incapacitated person during their lifetime. When a person dies, their other estate planning documents — wills, living trusts, etc — will then become active. A power of attorney is no longer valid.
- You Can Use Power of Attorney to Change a Person’s Will
False. A properly crafted estate plan should be comprehensive. This means that there will be a wide range of different estate planning documents in place — likely including powers of attorney, a will, and more. When you give a trusted person your power of attorney, that does not give them the authority to alter your will. Quite the contrary: when a person has another person’s power of attorney they must act within the person’s best financial interests. Their responsibility is to protect you; they do not have the right or the power to alter your estate.
Get Guidance From Our Florida Estate Planning Attorneys Today
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Tampa power of attorney lawyers have deep experience handling the full range of power of attorney issues. If you need guidance or support, we are here to help. To schedule your strictly confidential estate planning consultation, please contact our law firm now. We serve communities throughout Hillsborough County, including Riverview, Lithia, Brandon, Town N’ Country, and Plant City.