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Overcoming Challenges With Using Florida Powers Of Attorney


When you think or talk about powers of attorney in Florida estate planning, it is usually in the context of the benefits for the person creating it. An article published by AARP discusses the most important advantage, which is having someone to step into your shoes and manage your property if you become incapacitated. The agent under your power of attorney can pay bills, collect income, make gifts and make decisions regarding your money and  property without having to go to court.

Similarly, the Power of Attorney can easily be abused. As a result a person acting as an agent, may run into a various challenges when attempting to comply with their responsibilities, 

  1. The institution wants the person to be present. It is a common scenario for a properly named agent to visit a bank and show a fully valid power of attorney, only to be told that they need a court order. This is absolutely untrue, as the whole point of a power of attorney is to avoid going to court. When you are dealing with a teller or another employee that does not handle these matters regularly, it is best to request to speak to a manager. These individuals have higher levels of training and are more familiar with how powers of attorney work. 
  1. They claim the document is incomplete or defective. Those handling accounts for financial institutions, credit card companies, medical billers, and insurance companies, and government agencies are likely not attorneys. They may not be familiar with what makes an effective, legal power of attorney, and thus they are more likely to reject it than risk a mistake. You can address this obstacle by requesting to deal with their legal department. 
  1. The principal dies. The power of attorney is only valid while the principal is alive. Legally, an agent cannot act on behalf of a deceased principal, so a financial institution would be within its rights to refuse to accept it. It is important that you avoid any attempts to use the power of attorney after the principal passes away, as there could be penalties for financial abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, and other wrongful acts. 

Consult with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer About Powers of Attorney

To learn more about overcoming challenges when presenting a power of attorney, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Change in Dade City, FL. You can set up a consultation by calling 352-567-0055 or visiting us online. Our team is ready to assist if you are encountering difficulties, and we are committed to preparing powers of attorney that will hold up without hurdles.



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