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Creating or terminating a power of attorney

People in Florida thinking about the future may want to create powers of attorney. A power of attorney is a document that gives another person the right to act on behalf of the creator or principal on certain matters. In some cases, powers of attorney are effective immediately, and in other cases, they become effective when the principal is incapacitated. For example, healthcare powers of attorney assign another person the right to make medical decisions for the principal in case he or she is incapacitated or unable to make decisions. Financial powers of attorney could transfer the right to manage investments, bank accounts and other financial matters.

However, people who create a power of attorney may also want to revoke it later on, especially if their relationship to the named attorney-in-fact changes. Powers of attorney can be terminated in several ways. Some POAs may be created for a limited period only although most are durable; these terminate on the named expiration date. All POAs terminate upon the principal's death, but the attorney-in-fact may retain the right to manage final arrangements.

In most cases, people who want to revoke a power of attorney may do so by a written revocation. POAs are always revocable unless the principal is no longer competent to make decisions. In order for the revocation to be effective, the named attorney-in-fact must be notified. People can legally send documented notices, including certified mail, regular mail, emails and text messages, in order to notify the person that the POA is no longer valid.

Powers of attorney can be a flexible tool that allow people to protect themselves in case of future incapacity. An estate planning lawyer may answer questions about how POAs function and help people to create key documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney that reflect their visions for the future.

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Kramer A. Litvak, P.A.
226 East Government Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

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