THIS WEEK: Free Online Workshops on Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning. REGISTER NOW
THIS WEEK: Free Online Workshops on Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning. REGISTER NOW

What is a Florida Power of Attorney?

power of attorney lawyer

9 Reasons You Need a Florida Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a powerful form of estate planning that grants broad power to a person you choose, called an agent. The agent is granted control of your assets on your behalf if you're unable to control them yourself. For example, if you become incapacitated, your POA will make medical and financial decisions for you.

Florida law concerning the Power of Attorney changed in 2011 legislation. If you had a POA created before this time, it's still valid, but you may want to consult with an attorney if you need to make any changes to your POA.

In our opinion, the POA is the most important document in your estate plan.

For example, an agent may:

  • Control your investments
  • Pay your monthly bills
  • Maintain your real estate
  • Create trusts to care for your children
  • Apply for government benefits
  • And more (or less) depending on what you want (or don’t want) your agent to be able to do.

Anyone can benefit from a POA, and it's encouraged that anyone who is estate planning sign a POA. You may also want to sign a POA if you're elderly or in bad health. This way, if you become unable to make decisions for yourself, someone you trust, like a child or your spouse, can make decisions for you.

If you're retiring, diagnosed with a major health issue, or want to plan your estate now while you're fully cognizant and able to, a Power of Attorney is a must-have.‍

Do you want to establish a POA? If so, contact Elder Needs Law. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

9 Reasons To Discuss a Florida Power of Attorney With Your Estate Planning Lawyer‍

1. Choose a Trusted Person to Make Medical Decisions on Your Behalf

If you're unable to make your own medical decisions, you can grant a medical Power of Attorney to a trusted family member, loved one, or spouse to make decisions on your health care. The agent will not be able to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are able to communicate your wishes.

A POA is your chance to allow someone to act in your best interest when you're unable to make decisions on your own.

Healthcare decisions can also be delegated through a Florida Health Care Surrogate Designation.

2. Choose an Agent to Handle Your Financial and Legal Matters

Financial and family problems often occur when someone's estate isn't properly planned. A POA will allow an agent to handle all financial and legal matters of an incapacitated individual. But, be aware that a durable power of attorney is not a one-size-fits-all document. You cannot just say, "My agent can do everything on my behalf...."

Instead, you have to specifically designate what your agent can or cannot do. If the power is not specifically mentioned (and in some cases initialed, such as with the creation of trusts), then the agent authority will NOT be able to act. 

Poorly written Florida POAs are the cause of much frustration. This is why it’s essential to work with a trusted estate planning attorney to ensure your POA is legal and valid.

3. You Have Assets You Want to Protect

Do you have an estate? 

An estate can include:

  • Assets
  • Savings accounts
  • Real estate
  • Investments  
  • Cash

If you have assets, bank accounts, retirement accounts, or real estate, a POA can ensure that these assets are protected if you're incapacitated. This may mean giving access to your checking account to pay your mortgage or to make vital estate planning decisions. 

If you become incapacitated, Medicaid planning may be needed to help pay for home health care, ALF care, or nursing-home care.‍

4. You Operate a Business

Your business interests don't go away when you're unable to make decisions on your own. Keeping your business operating or choosing what to do with your business can be the responsibility of your chosen agent.

The agent can act on your behalf, unless business agreements say otherwise, to ensure that your business interests are protected.

5. Avoid Guardianship or Conservatorship Issues

You can choose the person appointed to be a guardian or conservator if you draft a POA. Otherwise, the issue will go to the court, and someone else will petition the court for the guardian to be appointed. 

Guardianship can usually be avoided when a well-drafted durable power of attorney has been signed in advance of becoming incapacitated.

6. Protects Against Financial Abuse Claims

A comprehensive estate plan will prevent the risk of financial abuse claims against the agent chosen. A POA can be extensive and allow for gifts to be issued and proper asset protection plans to be carried out.

If an extensive POA is in place, this allows for protection against financial abuse claims and for asset protection plan goals to be met.

7. Allows for Asset Protection

Asset protection delays can occur if there isn't an agent in place. When drafted properly, a POA will allow an agent to protect your assets. If a POA isn't drafted properly, the agent may not have the power to protect certain assets, leading to significant financial loss.

Proper planning will ensure that all of your assets are properly protected. As an example, without a properly-drafted durable power of attorney, Florida Medicaid-planning becomes impossible (or requires an expensive and time-consuming guardianship).‍

8. Ensures Financial Responsibilities are Met

Bills will continue piling up, and interest, penalties, and repossession can occur. An agent can use assets to pay bills, such as a mortgage, to ensure that you can maintain your lifestyle. With a POA, you won’t have to worry about these issues in case of declining health or incapacitation.

9. Provides Peace of Mind

You'll be able to choose an agent that you know and trust. If you don't have a power of attorney and you're incapacitated, someone you don't choose will have control over the decisions of your estate. 

If you’re worried about your estate getting into the wrong hands, then you must establish a POA and grant the power of your agent to someone you trust.

Contact Elder Needs Law Today

As your life circumstances change or your estate grows, it's important to update your POA. Having a Power of Attorney in place will give you peace of mind, knowing that your real and personal property, along with your health, is taken care of in case of subsequent incapacity.

A Power of Attorney is one of the estate planning measures you need to have an estate planning attorney to help you with. It's crucial to have your Power of Attorney set up properly — free forms should never be used.

If you’re interested in establishing a Florida durable Power of Attorney, then Elder Needs Law can help. Contact our team today to schedule your consultation.

Schedule A
Consultation Today

We care. We listen. We can help.
No matter what you need assistance with, don’t wait - schedule a consultation today to discuss a plan for your future.
(305) 931-0478

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get a power of attorney in Florida?
At its very basic level, a power of attorney needs to be signed in front of two independent witnesses and it needs to be notarized. In order to get the power of attorney document drafted, it is always best to work with an experienced estate planning attorney or elder care lawyer in order to make sure your rights and your best interests are always protected. Beware of free forms available on the internet, they are often faulty and problematic.
What does Durable Power of Attorney mean in Florida?
A “durable” power of attorney means that it lasts after someone becomes incapacitated. This is important so that whoever is given power of attorney, will be able to make decisions regarding the care of the other person, even if they are not able to speak their wishes themself.
Does a power of attorney give up my rights?
If you have a power of attorney, you still have rights to make your own decisions, however, the person you grant power of attorney to will also have the power to make these decisions.
Jason Neufeld is the author of the

Florida Medicaid
Planning Book

How to Get Medicaid to Pay for Some or All of Your Long-Term Care Expenses:Without having to wait 5 years | without having to sell your house | without have to go broke first! (a Florida Medicaid Lawyer's Guide For Non-Lawyers)


What People Say About Us

"Jason and his team are responsive and communicate very well. Jason helped me to get the benefits that I qualified for much faster than expected. I would recommend him highly. My case seemed complicated to me, but Jason explained everything in detail and made everything go quite smoothly. I interviewed several elderlaw attorneys prior to choosing Jason Neufeld."

"Quick turn around time for appointments, great response time, very thorough, never rushed through and soooo easy to do business with over the internet! Read the website info, very very helpful!"

“The attorney Jason and his team are amazing at planning and execution. Me and my family would not trust anyone else with our estate planning needs.”

“I've been very impressed! A friend referred me and I've experienced nothing but perfect service and professionalism. I am extremely grateful!”

“A strong recommendation for Jason Neufeld and his Elder Law firm - very professional, patient, reliable, and experienced. When my father fell terminally ill, I became responsible for his assets and finances overnight, including the daunting task to qualify him for Medicaid. I interviewed several elder law firms but was most impressed by Jason’s client approach and practices. Throughout the process, Jason and his team provided clear guidance and support to successfully complete all the new and complex tasks required as a POA, and more importantly he enabled us to quickly achieve our goals related to Medicaid and estate planning. His fees are more than reasonable for the level of due diligence and support we received.”

Click below to learn more about Nursing homes
And Rehabilitation centers in South Florida

More Nursing & Rehab Centers

Serving Elder Law Clients in the Following Areas

Miami, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Aventura, South Miami, Kendall

Hallandale Beach, Miramar, Hollywood, Dania Beach,
Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation, Davie, Pembroke Pines

Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach.

Contact Us

Let's Talk

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form