The Durable Power of Attorney: Overview and Benefits

The durable power of attorney is a document that complements your estate planning. It is a document through which you give someone else, who is known as the attorney in fact, the powers to act as your agent. Unlike other powers of attorney, the durable power of attorney remains in effect during your incapacity, unless it is revoked, terminated, or suspended.

Florida law notes that the attorney in fact’s powers may be broad, and may include, but are by no means limited to, the authority to execute powers over stocks, bonds, or other securities and the authority to convey or mortgage homestead property. It also provides the areas in which an attorney in fact may not act.

The following are benefits of the durable power of attorney:

1) Possible Minimized Court Intervention during Incapacity.

If you have not appointed someone to administer your property during your incapacity, a court may appoint a guardian to administer it on your behalf. A durable power of attorney, however, gives you the power to choose who administers your property.

2) You Decide What Powers to Give Your Attorney In Fact.

You have the authority to provide the attorney in fact with as much or as little power as you feel comfortable.

3) Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney.

You have the power to revoke the durable power of attorney if you no longer want your attorney in fact to serve.

4) Flexibility to Appoint a Number of attorneys in fact.

You may appoint more than one person to serve as your attorneys in fact and may appoint a successor attorney in fact in case your initial attorney in fact cannot or will not serve.

*This document contains legal information, but does not contain legal advice.

*This document has examined laws in effect in July 2011.