Q. Of what use is a “Florida durable power of attorney” and how is it different from a “power of attorney”?
A. Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to simplify a sample “durable power of attorney” and let you see the usefulness of the document. A partial excerpt would read as follows:
KNOW ALL MEN By THESE PRESENTS THAT (husband) (hereinafter referred to as “Grantor”) has made (wife) his true and lawful attorney for “Grantor” and in “Grantor’s” name, place, and stead to make, execute, sign, endorse or deliver any and all documents in “Grantor’s” name, or on behalf of “Grantor,” without reservation or limitation, it being “Grantor’s” intention to hereby comply with and extend all of the authority contained in Chapter 709.08, Florida Statutes.
This durable power of attorney shall not be affected by disability of “Grantor,” except as provided by statute, and shall continue in full force and effect unless and until revoked by “Grantor” in writing, or terminated by law or the lawful order of a court of competent jurisdiction. This power of attorney shall be nondelegable and shall cease upon death of “Grantor.” All acts performed hereunder by attorney shall bind “Grantor” and the heirs, devisees and personal representatives of “Grantor.”
Said attorney(s) are hereby given and granted full power and authority to do and perform all and every act and thing whatsoever requisite and necessary to be done in and about the premises as fully, to all intents and purposes, as “Grantor” might or could do it if personally present, hereby ratifying and confirming all that “Grantor’s” said attorney(s) shall lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.
It is obvious that the durable power of attorney goes beyond the “general power of attorney” by giving special powers in time of disability. Durable power of attorney now can give the power to make health care decisions including medical, therapeutic and surgical procedures, including the administration of drugs and nursing home decisions.
NOTE: This article should not be used in attempting to draft your own “durable power of attorney.” You should consult your attorney for proper format and execution. Attorney fees are usually very nominal for this type of service. Since the statute concerning DPOA was changed, documents made prior to October 1, 1995 should be updated. Also, it would be wise to update your durable power of attorney every three years, regardless of changes, to reflect your current wishes.
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