Power of Attorney Form

Elder and estate planning attorneys are often asked about how powers of attorney work. A power of attorney is a document that permits a designated representative to act on another person’s behalf, making financial decisions, healthcare determinations, or both in the event that the “principal” (the person who creates the document) is incapacitated. For the answer to “Will my power of attorney expire?” or to get help preparing a power of attorney in Minnesota or Florida, consider contacting an estate planning attorney at Roulet Law Firm, P.A., today by calling our Florida office at (941) 909-4644 or our Minnetonka, Minnesota office at (763) 420-5087 or, you can fill out the contact form on this page and a member of our team will reach out to you.

How Does a Power of Attorney Work?

According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute, a power of attorney (POA) designates someone, referred to as an attorney-in-fact, to make certain decisions on behalf of the person who signed the document, known as the principal. This authority can be compared to the way a parent makes decisions about his or her child’s health care or finances while the child is a minor. Powers of attorney may be used if someone becomes ill or incapacitated to the point of being unable to make sound decisions or self-advocate. In other situations, a POA may be assigned by someone who is on active duty in the military or would otherwise be inaccessible.

POAs typically go into effect when the principals are not able to make their own decisions, such as while they are in a coma or in surgery. In some situations, a POA may become effective if a judge determines that a person’s cognitive abilities are not sufficient to make sound decisions in his or her own best interests.

When Does My Power of Attorney Expire?

According to § 523.11 Minn. Rev. Stat. (2023), a mentally competent individual can revoke a power of attorney at any time, although the revocation is not effective until the attorney-in-fact is notified. If the document is drafted with an expiration date, then the POA expires on that date. If the principal dies, the person named in the power of attorney will no longer be the fiduciary. The only way for that person to continue making decisions on the principal’s behalf is if he or she was previously designated as the personal representative in the principal’s Last Will and Testament (will) or the successor trustee of their trust.

In Florida, the expiration date for a POA is much the same as in Minnesota. The date depends on how the power of attorney was drafted—whether the document has a clear expiration date or if the principal left it open-ended until the need should arise to revoke it. The principal may sign either a new document revoking the power of attorney or one that changes the current attorney-in-fact to another individual. In some cases, a principal may name his or her lawyer (attorney-at-law) as the agent, leaving detailed instructions as to how certain decisions should be made. As in Minnesota, a power of attorney expires when the principal dies. The attorney-in-fact cannot make decisions about the principal’s estate unless he or she was named as personal representative.

How Long Is a Limited Power of Attorney Valid?

A limited power of attorney may be good for a specific amount of time or until the principal is no longer incapacitated. Some people may put in place an indefinite POA, anticipating that they will eventually be able to reclaim their own agency. Others include a specific end date in their power of attorney documents.

The length of time that a POA will be in effect also depends on the type of power of attorney. A durable power of attorney in both Florida and Minnesota can last the principal’s lifetime. A medical POA, on the other hand, is only active while the principal is incapacitated.

Who Can Override a Power of Attorney?

The purpose of a POA is to give agency over a person so that the attorney-in-fact can act on behalf of that person. That is, the attorney-in-fact has the same agency as the individual would under normal circumstances. Therefore, the only entities that can override a POA are the same entities that have the power to overrule that person’s own decisions. For example, if the agent decides to engage in illegal activity on behalf of the principal, then legal authorities can stop the attorney-in-fact’s actions.

Illegal activity aside, if the principal has capacity to do so, he or she can override the power of attorney by revoking it. Individuals wondering “Will my power of attorney expire?” without renewals may be reassured to know that Florida and Minnesota laws require that the individual notify the attorney-in-fact that the POA has been revoked, usually in a separate legal document. Without notification of the revocation, the agent may still make decisions on the individual’s behalf, even if that person has become capable or competent again. If the principal is incapacitated, a close friend or loved one may petition the court to terminate the power of attorney if there are serious concerns about how the agent is performing.

How Much Is a Power of Attorney?

The average cost of a POA in both Florida and Minnesota ranges from $350 to around $700–$800, depending on how complex the document is and how long the estate planning lawyer takes to complete it. Drafting your own POA and filing it online may be possible, but most estate planning lawyers recommend a more personalized approach, as a generic form may not cover your unique interests and situation. Additionally, laws change periodically, so any form available online may not be compliant with current state law and, therefore, not be legally acceptable.

Errors in executing a power of attorney could leave the designated attorney-in-fact unable to make decisions for the principal. That authority would pass to his or her closest relative, which can be a person the principal may not have chosen willingly. Instead, an estate planning attorney from Roulet Law Firm, P.A., up to date with laws in Florida and Minnesota, may be able to help draft your POA to create a document designed just for your situation and your interests.

Contact an Estate Planning Attorney for Help Today

If you have not established a power of attorney yet, you may want to get started right away. An accident or illness could happen at any time, rendering a person unable to self-advocate. If you have already made plans for how your healthcare or financial decisions will be handled if you cannot but have since gone through a significant life change—marriage, divorce, etc.—you may need to reassign the POA to cover your needs and protect your interests. If you are wondering: “Will my power of attorney expire?” consider contacting an experienced Minnesota or Florida estate planning attorney with Roulet Law Firm, P.A., today by calling our Florida office at (941) 909-4644 or our Minnetonka, Minnesota office at (763) 420-5087 or, you can fill out the contact form on this page and a member of our team will reach out to you.

If you would like to learn how to make it as easy and inexpensive as possible for your family to manage your affairs during incapacity and after passing, while ensuring your assets only go to whom you want and how you want, click here to register for our FREE online masterclass.

If you would like to learn how to protect your home and life savings from long-term care and nursing home costs, click here to download our FREE guide Save our Home: How to Protect Your Home and Life Savings From Long-Term Care and Nursing Home Costs.

Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker
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