In a power of attorney, you name another person (known as your “agent’) to make financial, insurance, and other decisions for you. The agent is able to do any activity that is specifically described in the document. A durable power of attorney in Florida is valid the moment it is signed, even while you still have the capacity to do everything for yourself, and remains effective if you become incapacitated. The document is void at the moment of death.
Because of the incredible amount of power that’s given to the agent, it’s very important to give careful consideration to who is named in the document. Certain powers (those involving the transfer of money rather than just management) require initials beside each provision.
A power of attorney allows you to delegate certain tasks to a spouse, adult child, or other trusted individual who is better able, for example, to visit the bank or have a complex conversation about insurance benefits. Health care decisions, however, are usually communicated and delegated through a separate set of documents: a living will and health care surrogate designation.