A Durable Power of Attorney is a written Power of Attorney by which a principal designates another as the principal’s agent for making financial decisions in case of the principal’s inability to do so. Once you become incompetent, an ordinary Power of Attorney ceases to exist. In order for the powers granted to survive the eventual disability or incapacity of the principal, or be “durable”, the document must contain the language required by Florida Statutes, showing the principal’s intent that the authority conferred be exercisable, notwithstanding the principal’s subsequent incapacity. A Power of Attorney, whether durable or not, ceases at the death of the principal.
A Durable Power of Attorney should cover all banking and real estate transactions. It should give the person receiving the Power of Attorney the authority to continue or initiate a gift-giving program. The latter is a crucial clause for people with substantial estates. In addition, some Powers of Attorney may need to grant the power to create or fund a Trust. Under Florida Statutes, a Durable Power of Attorney instrument executed after October 1, 2011, may contain provisions giving unprecedented authority to the principal’s agent.