Tag Archives: Power of Attorney

Can You Vote for a Disabled Person with a Power of Attorney?


In Florida, you cannot use a power of attorney to vote on behalf of someone else.

The point of a power of attorney is to act in place of the maker of the power of attorney.  We normally see this being done in banking and healthcare decisions.

But, voting is an act that is uniquely personal, and a power of attorney is typically not permitted to perform acts that are so personal to the principal. Any exception would have to be made by statute. 

Call the Law Offices of Debra G. Simms at 386.256.4882 to learn more. We are currently offering free consultations via video conference to assist you with your needs.

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

A Florida Durable Power of Attorney is an important part of your estate plan.  This legal document gives control over who will manage your property during periods of lifetime incapacity.

Recent changes to the Florida Power of Attorney statute make this an excellent time to re-evaluate and possibly update existing powers of attorneys.

A Power of Attorney is a powerful document.  People create these documents to ensure continuity of their financial affairs in the event of future incapacity, naming trusted family members, friends, or professional fiduciaries who can step in to manage what is needed.

Unfortunately, these individuals can and do, sometimes abuse their authority.  Updating your Power of Attorney can give you additional protections.

First, who is your designated agent?  Is this person still the person that you trust the most?   Have you named a successor agent in case your named agent is unwilling or unable to serve?

Second, the new Florida Power of Attorney gives added protections for the Principal (the person creating the document) by requiring the Principal to specifically grant or withhold certain powers.  For example, if you are creating a Power of Attorney under the new law, you can decide whether or not to allow your agent to make gifts, or change beneficiary designations on your accounts.

If you created a Power of Attorney under the old law, your document is still in effect.  However, since the new law includes many advantages over the previous one, it is a good idea to create a new one to obtain the added protections under the new law.

Probate & Trusts, Estate Planning, Wills, Trust, Power of Attorney

probate-trusts-estate-planning-wills-trust-power-of-attorneyIf we spare even a fraction of the time we spent on earning all that money and building those assets, we would be able to ensure that it stays in the right hands even when we are not around to look after them. The federal law provides multiple legal options for you to choose form in order to facilitate a judicious planning of your property and assets. We are here to help you understand the various legal rights of a valid US citizen in managing his property and estate while he/she is alive and also post his/her demise.


A will is one the most commonly referenced legal document which allows an individual to manage the division and consecutive distribution of his or her property and estate post death. Creating a final testament or a will gives you the discretion of deciding as to how your hard-earned money and assets should be distributed among those chosen solely by you.


A probate is a legal proceeding that involves proving the validity of the will of a deceased, and then carrying out the process of appraisal and distribution of his assets as per the instructions stipulated within the will. A probate is of great significance in property distribution cases wherein the deceased failed to plan out a valid will while he/she was alive.


A trust can be cited as a written agreement between two or more parties wherein a trustee is attributed with a legal title to a property or an asset on the behalf of a trust beneficiary. The creator of the trust, called the settler provides the instruction for distribution of his assets among the beneficiaries to be carried out by the trustees. A trust can be especially useful in situations where a settler does not wish to provide outright control over his assets to the beneficiary, as the latter may not be mature enough or legally able to deal with them.

Power of attorney

A POA is a legal document which allows you to authorize an individual of significant trust to take control over your financial or healthcare responsibilities in your absence or inability to administer your property and assets.

Why should I hire an attorney?

Before coming to a final conclusion as to whether you should hire an attorney for your property distribution planning or not, you must understand the significance of the proper composition of a legal document. One single missing signature or a misplaced word might entirely alter the actual intent of your trust, will or POA. An attorney can help you in designing a legally correct document which reflects your intent in its entirety. In addition to this, the state laws for all estate planning related instruments vary from state to state. It is utmost essential to consult a professional attorney before creating a will or executing a trust, in order to stick to the laws of your specific state. Furthermore, hiring a lawyer also helps deal with any complex financial or family situations such as a second marriage, minor children, physically disabled family member or a recent divorce.

If you are looking for professional legal advice for creation of a will, trust, POA or estate planning and more in the Volusia County region, just visit https://simmslawfirm.com for assistance form some of the best legal minds in the country.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667

What is a power of attorneyThere are several circumstances, wherein an individual is unable to manage his property or finance related matters for a specific length of time, owing to a prolonged overseas trip or a major health condition that renders him physical incapable of doing so. A power of attorney is just the type of legal provision that helps you to delegate the responsibility of your property and finance management in the event of your prolonged absence.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney, also known as letter of attorney is a legal document that authorizes an individual to take up the responsibility of representing or acting on the behalf of another individual regarding the latter’s business, legal or other private affairs. The person who creates the power of attorney is referred to as the grantor, principal or donor. On the other hand, the individual who is appointed as the representative is referred to as the agent or the attorney. Depending upon the power of acting upon the power of attorney, whether the grantor is capable of making decisions for himself or not, a typical power of attorney can be broadly classified into two basic categories namely an ordinary power of attorney or an enduring power of attorney, respectively. In addition to managing finances and business related affairs, the power of attorney also offers provisions to the agent to make decisions regarding health care facilities and also for recommending a guardian.

What are the prerequisites for appointing an agent?

One of the major key factors in deciding upon an agent for your power of attorney is, trust. The agent can be chosen from among a variety of your associates such as a relative, friend, a legal attorney or even an organization. It is utmost essential to appoint an individual who is keen on ensuring your best interests and respects your wishes without having the evil mindset of abusing the powers bestowed upon him. The agent is obligated to keep a detailed record of all transactions that he makes on the grantor’s behalf and also to provide frequent updates of the same to him. In case the grantor is incapable of reviewing the updated records himself, he may direct the agent to pass on such information to an appointed third party. As far as an agent’s legal liability is concerned, he cannot be penalized for doing something wrong unless it is something done intentionally. Such statue is stipulated in order to encourage individuals in shouldering the responsibility of becoming an agent to someone who is dire need of creating a power of attorney.

Why you need a POA lawyer?

The creation of a power of attorney requires an enormous amount of intricate paperwork, which might be a daunting task for a layman to accomplish. In addition to this, a POA provides complete authority over your business, finance and healthcare to another individual, which implies that there are several considerations to be made before you appoint an agent. A legal POA lawyer can help you zero in the right candidate for your power of attorney, by making you understand the repercussions of appointing someone who might end up using it against you.

In case you are looking for legal assistance for creation of your power of attorney in the greater Daytona area, you may check out the website https://simmslawfirm.com.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Florida Power of Attorney Help

power of attorneyAt the law firm run by Debra G. Simms and her team of experienced and qualified lawyers, you will be sure to get the best in legal and paralegal services from drafting of important legal documents like wills, living wills, different types of trust deeds, powers of attorney, probates, estate planning, guardianship and elder law services, and much more.

Debra runs her legal services from three offices in different locations in the state of Florida. The first office is located at Prestige Executive Center, 823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C, Port Orange, FL 32129. The second office is located at 629 N. Dixie FW, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168. She and her team work Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and can be reached on their toll, fax and landline numbers.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a document wherein one person called the principal who is the maker of the document grants certain general or special rights or powers to another person called the agent to do or not to do certain legal acts or deeds for and on behalf of the principal. This agent is given authorization from the principal to act in a certain way for and on behalf of the principal when the principal cannot be physically present at a certain place at a stipulated time. The extent of powers granted by the principal to the agent will depend on what is outlined in the deed of power of attorney. It will also explain in detail the rights, liabilities, duties and obligations of the agent while he is acting for and on behalf of the principal.

What are the different types of power of attorney?

There are two types of powers of attorney – general and special. A general power of attorney is one where the agent has the right to do all the legal acts with respect to a certain job or deed in a broad perspective. For example, the agent is authorized via POA to sell a property A of the principal. A general POA will grant the agent all rights to do all acts, things, and deeds for and on behalf of the principal with respect to the selling of the property A.

A special power of attorney relates to the performance of only certain acts, things or deeds and is more limited in the scope of powers than a general power of attorney. The agent’s powers are restricted only to the performance of certain acts or deeds, such as the performance or execution of a contract, or representing the principal before the regulatory authorities only on one occasion or one personal hearing.

A durable power of attorney is another type of POA wherein the agent can still act for and on behalf of the principal even after he becomes incapacitated. However, the POA must state the same clearly in words.

The principal and agent must be of sound mind and must understand the terms and conditions of the POA deed before signing. Both parties the principal and the agent must be competent to contract.

Visit Debra G. Simms law firm and her team of qualified experts to get your deed of power of attorney drafted in compliance with the laws of the state of Florida while understanding all the legal implications of a POA.

To contact attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

New Florida Power of Attorney Act

On October 1, 2011, the new Florida Power of Attorney Act went into effect. This is a brand new law that will completely replace and supersede Florida’s current law governing powers of attorney executed by individuals and will apply to powers of attorney created on, before, or after October 1, 2011.

The top six things you need to know about the new Florida Power of Attorney law:

1.Signing formalities are crucial. The new law requires a person making a Florida power of attorney (called the “principal”) to sign the document in front of two witnesses and a Notary Public (note that the Notary can act as one of the two witnesses). The new law also provides that powers of attorney properly executed under the laws of another state will be recognized in Florida; however, a third party located in Florida that is asked to accept an out-of-state power of attorney can require a legal opinion as to the document’s validity under the other state’s laws.

2.Be aware of the new rules governing multiple agents. Under current Florida law, if two or more agents are named in a power of attorney to act at the same time, then they must act unanimously, and if three or more agents are named, then they must act by majority vote. This is not so under the new law – instead, the new law provides that multiple agents named to act at the same time can act independently of each other unless the power of attorney specifies otherwise.

3.Filing for divorce triggers revocation of a spouse’s authority. The mere filing of a petition for divorce will terminate the authority of the principal’s spouse to act under the principal’s power of attorney.

4.Powers of attorney will no longer be allowed to “spring” into action. Springing powers of attorney will no longer be allowed to be created in Florida, instead all new powers of attorney will be effective immediately. But note that springing powers of attorney signed before October 1, 2011 will remain valid.

5.Specific authority must be granted. The following catch-all phrase that commonly appears in powers of attorney can no longer be relied on:

“In general, to do all other acts, deeds, matters, and things whatsoever in or about my estate, property, and affairs, whether or not particularly or generally described and any and all other acts, deeds, matters, and things not particularly or generally set forth herein, as fully and effectively to all intents and purposes as the undersigned could do if personally present; and to employ, retain in employment and discharge such persons (both professional and otherwise) as my Agent may deem necessary to assist in the performance of any of the foregoing.”
Instead, a power of attorney must list with specificity the authority being granted.
6. An agent has the duty to preserve the principal’s estate plan. Under the new law an agent acting under a power of attorney has the mandatory duty to try to preserve the principal’s estate planning goals to the extent known by the agent.
These are only a few of the highlights of Florida’s new Power of Attorney law. To lean more about the new law and whether your old document ought to be updated, contact our office for a consultation.
Debra G. Simms

To contact attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Contact Us

Port Orange Office:
Prestige Executive Center
823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C
Port Orange, FL 32129
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667
New Smyrna Beach Office:
817 E. 7th Ave
New Smyrna Beach FL, 32169
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667