Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows the maker to designate an agent to make personal, medical or financial decisions for the maker in the event he or she becomes physically or mentally incapacitated.
It is important that the POA exists prior to any incapacity because the maker of the POA must, at the time of signing, understand what he or she is signing, its consequences, who is being appointed attorney-in-fact, and what property may be affected.
In Florida, a POA remains effective even if the maker becomes incapacitated (assuming the POA contains the necessary statutory language).
You should know that if a spouse or adult child becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, the well-spouse or parent does not have the legal authority to make personal, medical or financial decisions for the incapacitated person. Without a POA, the well-spouse or parent would have to attempt to become the legal Guardian of the incapacitated person, an expensive, time-consuming and difficult process.
This is why at Allender & Allender, we believe that a POA is the most important legal document any adult can have.