Power of Attorney – What is It and Who to Choose as an Attorney-in-Fact?

Powers of attorney are useful tools that are very assistive in legally choosing a reliable person who should manage your affairs. When a wrong individual is chosen, the consequences on your life can be dangerous. Thus, it is important to be very careful while entrusting someone with the role of an attorney-in-fact with the help of a Power of Attorney. Before choosing one, you must have an idea about sample power of attorney form.

What is a Power of Attorney?

This is a type of document which is used to authorize a person, often referred to as an agent, to act for you – in case you are unable to do the same. These can be something like management of your own investments, making bill payments etc. This can be restricted to managing only one thing or almost anything for you, and the POA has to be written in a way that lets you handle the same easily. How much authority you grant to the appointed individual would depend on the language of the document.

Power of attorney documents are of 2 types:

  1. Non-durable power of attorney – This can be customized to let the attorney-in-fact carry out just one activity, such as a specific transaction, and it stops when you lose mental faculties.
  2. Durable power of attorney – It remains effectual in case you suffer from reduced mental capacity or lose complete ability for the management of your own affairs.

You can customize any form of power of attorney to bestow broad authority on your attorney-in-fact, or let him / her carry out just one transaction.

Who to Choose an Attorney-in-fact?

As you will possibly use a free Power of Attorney form in Florida to bestow authority on a person to handle your financial decisions and legal matters, it would be in your best interests to pick an individual having experience in dealing with such affairs or having the financial knowledge or the personality to deal with the kind of decisions that the role of attorney-in-fact will need him / her to take.

You have to pick a person who shows loyalty to you, realizes your values and has a proper understanding of what you want, knows what his / her responsibilities are and is committed to handle those activities quite seriously. Basically, you would need a fair minded and reliable person who would honor your wishes and hold it as supreme.

Keep in mind that with a Power of Attorney, you will be providing your agent with the chance to get access to your savings account, checking accounts and various other kinds of assets when you might be unable to monitor what the attorney-in-fact is doing. It is quite commonplace to find friends, family members and even own sons or daughters misusing a Power of Attorney, and exploiting it for their own benefit.

It is important for you to pick an attorney-in-fact with wisdom, and ensure that you use proper language in the document to prevent the misuse of the same by the appointed person. Or, choose an individual who is completely reliable and committed to you. Test the loyalty of the individual in various ways, without his / her knowledge, and entrust that person with a POA when you are completely assured. Otherwise, you might be in for a rude shock later.

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