General Versus Limited Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives another person — commonly referred to as an attorney-in-fact — the ability to act and make certain decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself. These powers may be limited to specific types of actions, or they may cover a wide range of issues. The type of power of attorney you choose depends on a variety of factors:
- Powers: A limited power of attorney has language that only authorizes a few different powers, usually related to specific events. For example, if you travel a lot and have property for sale, you may have a family member or friend operate on your behalf to execute the sale in your absence. A general power of attorney, however, can cover a wide variety of powers that are practically unlimited.
- Expiration: A limited power of attorney typically establishes an expiration date, whereas general power of attorney usually does not expire.
- Specificity: Limited power of attorney arrangements are usually far more specific than general ones. For example, a general power of attorney could give your agent the power to deal with your property in just about any way, while limited power of attorney would describe specific actions and steps that must be followed.
- Date it becomes active: Except for a military power of attorney contingent upon deployment, and certain powers executed before October 1, 2011, Florida does not recognize a “springing” power of attorney. A springing power of attorney is one that becomes effective only upon the happening of a future event. Therefore, generally, powers of attorney in Florida, whether limited or general, are effective upon execution of the document.
For more information and advice related to establishing power of attorney, speak with an experienced Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.