How to Protect Against Challenges to Financial Power of Attorney
If for any reason you think there is a chance someone will challenge your financial power of attorney by claiming you were coerced into signing it, there are several steps you can take to affirm your decision. We encourage you to consider the following:
- Speak with an attorney: Make sure you review your financial power or attorney thoroughly, especially if you created it yourself without the assistance of a lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to analyze the document, pinpoint potential areas of weakness and uncover any potential areas for challenge so you can address them immediately. Your attorney will also be able to testify about your mental capacity to make the decision, if it comes to that.
- Have witnesses when you sign the document: In Florida, a durable power of attorney is not effective if not signed by the principal and two subscribing witnesses and acknowledged by the principal before a notary public. Each of them could also be called upon to vouch for the apparent capacity of the principal at the time of signing.
- Get a sworn doctor’s statement: A physician may also provide clear evidence of your competence when you signed a power of attorney document. You may attach this statement to your power of attorney paperwork.
- Create a video recording: While not legally necessary, this step can provide even further evidence of your competence at the time you signed the power of attorney document.
For more information and guidance related to creating a financial power of attorney document that will hold up to any challenges, speak with a skilled Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.