Durable Power of Attorney

Life is unpredictable, with both good and bad surprises. Although we can’t know what’s coming next, we can get ready for it. One key step is creating a durable power of attorney (DPOA).


Under Florida law, this legal document lets you pick a trusted person to make big choices for you when you can’t. This could be because of sudden sickness, an accident, or getting older. Having a DPOA means your wishes will be followed and your matters will be well-managed.


If you’re unsure about the future and concerned about protecting your interests, don’t worry. You’re in the right place. This article will provide you with all the necessary information to comprehend the significance of a DPOA, guide you through the process of setting one up, and show you how William C. Roof can assist you in ensuring that everything is done correctly.


If securing your future is a top priority, don’t hesitate to reach out to William C. Roof. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?

So, what exactly is a durable power of attorney and how does it work in Florida? Think of it as your personal decision-making backup. You choose someone you trust, often referred to as an “agent,” to step in and make choices for you in case you can’t.

Durable Power of Attorney vs. Power of Attorney

What’s the difference between a DPOA and a “power of attorney”? The word “durable” is what sets it apart.


A general power of attorney becomes void if you lose mental capacity, requiring a conservatorship to be set up. In contrast, a DPOA continues to be effective, eliminating the need for a probate court to appoint a conservator who you don’t get to choose.


It provides a seamless transition of legal authority, allowing your agent to continue managing your real estate, bank accounts, and other financial transactions without legal hiccups.

Types of Durable Power of Attorney

Different situations call for different types of DPOAs. Here are some common ones:

  1. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: Often referred to as a health care power of attorney, this enables your agent to liaise with health care providers and make medical treatment choices if you cannot. It allows you to pick who will make your health care wishes known to your team in the event you cannot.

  3. Durable Financial Power of Attorney: This empowers your agent to handle your financial matters, from managing financial institutions to filing tax returns. It’s a crucial part of estate planning documents, ensuring your financial affairs are in order.

  1. Special or Limited DPOA: This is a more narrow version that grants your agent specific powers. For instance, if you need someone to handle only your Medicaid applications or nursing home arrangements, a limited DPOA can be crafted for that purpose.

Reasons to Use a Durable Power of Attorney

You’re probably wondering why you’d need a durable power of attorney (DPOA). Let’s break it down in simple terms.

  1. Preparing for Unexpected Life Events
    Life can throw curveballs like accidents or sudden sickness. A DPOA helps you get ready for these surprises. If something happens to you, a DPOA lets someone you trust step in and make choices for you. A DPOA stays in place even if you can’t think clearly or make decisions, which is different from a regular power of attorney.

  3. Protecting Assets and Health Choices
    You’ve worked hard for your money and property. A DPOA helps keep them safe. A special kind of DPOA can even look after your health decisions. This is important if you can’t speak for yourself at the doctor’s office. Your chosen person can handle things like your bank accounts, medical treatment, and even selling your house if needed.

  5. Giving Peace of Mind to Your Family
    When families don’t know what to do, a DPOA clears things up. Your family won’t have to guess what you want. It’s all written down. This can avoid fights and stress at times when your loved ones should be pulling together.

Tasks Managed by a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)

Below is a breakdown of the diverse tasks that can be managed under a DPOA, sorted by various categories for easier understanding:

Financial Management:

  1. Bill Payments: Settles bills, ensuring that services aren’t disrupted and late fees are avoided.
  2. Bank Transactions: Handles your banking needs, from depositing checks to managing bank accounts.
  3. Investment Management: Oversees and makes financial decisions about your investments, including stocks and bonds.
  4. Tax Filings: Prepares and submits tax returns, making sure to comply with state law and federal regulations.
  5. Asset Management: Takes charge of financial matters related to your assets, including real estate.
  6. Insurance Transactions: Manages insurance policies, files claims, and follows up on settlements.

Legal Affairs:

  1. Legal Representation: Advocates for you in legal cases, making sure your rights are protected.
  2. Contract Signings: Executes contracts on your behalf, ensuring they align with your interests.
  3. Property Management: Takes care of real estate and other properties, whether it’s maintenance or a sale.

Health Care Decisions:

  1. Medical Consent: Provides informed consent for medical treatment when you’re unable to do so.
  2. Access to Medical Records: Retrieves your medical history to make well-informed health care decisions.

General Responsibilities:

  1. Following Principal’s Instructions: Adheres to the guidelines stipulated in the DPOA document to honor your wishes.
  2. Separation of Assets: Keeps your financial affairs separate from their own, avoiding any conflict of interest.

Important Clauses in a Durable Power of Attorney

When you are developing a DPOA with your attorney, there are several important provisions that will impact the way your DPOA works. Knowing the essential clauses can help you make a more informed choice. Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Springing vs. Immediate Effectiveness
    Springing: This means the DPOA kicks in only if something specific happens, like if a doctor says you can’t make decisions anymore.

    Immediate: This makes the DPOA active as soon as you sign it. It’s useful if you need help with things right away.


  3. Co-Agents and Successor Agents
    Co-Agents: This lets you pick more than one person to help you. They can work together or separately based on what you want.

    Successor Agents: These are backup helpers if your first choice can’t or won’t do it. It’s a smart move to have a second option.

  1. Specific Powers and Limitations
    Specific Powers: This part lists what the helper can and can’t do. It could be anything from paying your bills and dealing with bank accounts to making medical choices.
    Limitations: Here, you can say what you don’t want the helper to do. For example, maybe you don’t want them selling your house or making certain health care decisions.

Steps to Create a DPOA

If you’ve been thinking about setting up a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), you’re already on the right track to making smart choices for your future. Here’s a simple guide to help you get started:


  1. Consult with a Lawyer
    The first step is to talk with a lawyer. You’ll want someone who knows the ins and outs of this area, like estate planning or elder law. The lawyer can explain what a DPOA is and help you figure out what you need. A lawyer can also explain Florida state law, as rules can vary depending on where you live.

  3. Discuss with Family Members
    Before you make anything official, sit down with your family and loved ones. Tell them who you’re picking to act for you, called the “attorney-in-fact,” and why you’ve made that choice. Open talk helps avoid any surprises later and makes sure everyone understands what’s going on.

  5. Officially Record the Document
    Once you and your lawyer agree on the DPOA details, it’s time to sign it. You’ll usually need to do this in front of a notary to make it official. Keep the signed paper in a safe spot and let your family know where it is, just in case.

Secure Your Future with a Durable Power of Attorney. Contact William C. Roof.

William C. Roof, an experienced attorney from a family of trial lawyers, offers durable power of attorney (DPOA) services to protect your interests when you can’t make decisions. Ensure your well-being and assets are in safe hands by contacting our office.. Gain peace of mind for you and your family today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we’ve covered the most common inquiries, let’s explore some more detailed and nuanced aspects of this topic.

What is a general durable power of attorney?

  • A general durable power of attorney (GDPOA) is a legal document that grants someone, known as an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” the authority to make various financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The term “general” means that the powers granted to the agent are broad and not limited to specific tasks. “Durable” means that the power of attorney remains in effect even if the person who created it (the “principal”) becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions.

How Does a Power of Attorney Work?

  • A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal instrument that allows someone to act on your behalf. When you create a POA document, you designate an agent to make decisions and take actions in specific areas of your life, such as finances, healthcare, or legal matters. The document outlines the scope of the agent’s authority and can be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. The agent’s authority can be effective immediately upon signing or triggered by a specific event, such as your incapacitation.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Durable Power of Attorney?

  • Pros:

    • Ensures continuity of decision-making in case of incapacity.
    • Provides flexibility to choose a trusted agent.
    • Allows for personalized delegation of powers.
    • Avoids the need for guardianship or conservatorship proceedings.
    • Facilitates financial and legal management during your absence or incapacitation.

  • Cons:

    • Requires trust in the chosen agent.
    • Potential for abuse or misuse of authority.
    • May be difficult to revoke or modify once created.
    • Should be carefully drafted to prevent misinterpretation.

The contents of this article are not comprehensive, they provide only a general overview of the subject matter discussed. This article does not establish a client-attorney relationship with the reader, and no legal decisions should be made based on the article’s contents. Because every legal matter arises under unique facts specific to the client, no legal decision should be made without consulting a licensed attorney.

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