What Makes A Power Of Attorney Invalid?
When granting someone power to manage your finances or make decisions on your behalf, it is important to understand the legal steps necessary to create a valid power of attorney (POA). It is equally as important to recognize what can make a power of attorney invalid in the state of Florida.
Pompano Beach estate & probate litigation lawyer Mark R. Manceri, P.A. focuses on disputes and litigation surrounding POAs in Florida. If you believe a power of attorney is invalid, consider speaking with a knowledgeable lawyer to discuss whether or not you can contest the POA.
What Makes a Power of Attorney Invalid?
In Florida, there are certain requirements that must be met in order for a power of attorney to be considered valid. First and foremost, the person creating the document must have “capacity” when signing it. This means they must understand what they are signing and why they are doing so. A capacity evaluation by a medical professional may be required if there is any question surrounding the capacity at the time the document was signed.
The document itself must also meet certain criteria. If it does not meet these criteria, then it may not be enforceable by law. These criteria include:
- A signature from two witnesses;
- A signature from a Notary Public; and
- A statement from both parties (grantor and grantee) that no fraud or undue influence has been used to obtain the signature(s).
If any one of these factors is missing or incomplete, then it could render the entire document invalid—a risk you do not want to take in such a serious situation. It’s important to consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you prepare this document properly and ensure all requirements are met before it is signed.
Can a Power of Attorney Be Contested?
In order to contest a power of attorney in Florida, you must be able to demonstrate that there was an abuse or misuse of the document’s authority. Examples include situations where a power of attorney was used without permission or where it was used against the wishes of the person granting it. Additionally, if you can prove that the document was not properly executed (e.g., forged signatures), then you may have grounds to contest it as well.
It is also vital to note that even if your complaint is successful and the court agrees there has been an abuse or misuse, you may still be responsible for any debts or other obligations incurred as part of this misuse—unless those misused funds were taken out fraudulently by someone else who had no legal right over them (in which case they will likely be held liable).
Finally, if your complaint is found not to have merit, then you will likely be responsible for paying any related court costs and fees associated with filing this complaint in circuit court—so it’s best to consult with an experienced lawyer prior to taking action.
Seek the Guidance You Can Rely On
Creating a valid power of attorney requires careful consideration and attention to detail in order to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are followed should something happen in which you are no longer able to make financial decisions on your own behalf.
An experienced lawyer can provide valuable guidance throughout this process so that your wishes will be honored if ever needed. The lawyer at Mark R. Manceri, P.A., can help you avoid common mistakes when creating this crucial document for yourself or another loved one. Call 954-491-7099 for a consultation.