Do I need to go through a lawyer to set up Power of Attorney for my Father in law whom I take care of full time?

Currently, my sister in law has power of attorney for my father in law who lives with me. We need to change this power of attorney over to my husband and myself as we have been my father in laws full time care takes for the last 2 1/2 years and his health is declining. My sister in law is one that you can never get a hold of or takes weeks to respond and as we are working with my father in law for his health care, more and more it's getting harder because we are not permitted to talk for him unless he gives permission, which he does, but we don't know how much longer he will be competent enough to do that. Does a POA need to be registered and filed and does it need to be done through a lawyer? My FIL will NOT leave the house for anything but Dr's appts any more so just trying to understand

Orange City, FL -

Attorney Answers (2)

Johnnie B Byrd Jr.

Johnnie B Byrd Jr.

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Plant City, FL
Answered

If you father in law is still lucid and mentally competent he can revoke the previouse poa and make a new one. At the same time he should also give you a healthcare surrogate appointment so that you can make health care decisions when he is unable. So, you need (1) written revocation of existing poa; (2) new durable power of attorney; and (3) healthcare surrogate appointment. These are written documents that are witnessed and notarized. Call an attorney who does wills and estates and the attorney can prepare the documents. Most attorneys do not do house calls, but you might be able to coordinate a visit to the lawyer's office when you are taking your father in law to the doctor's office.

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Douglas Ron Coenson

Douglas Ron Coenson

Estate Planning Attorney - Jupiter, FL
Answered

I agree with Mr. Byrd's response. In addtion to his response, however, an attorney is not necessary but is strongly recommended. Many times when people complete documents such as POAs on their own, mistakes are made and often come back to haunt them. Keep in mind there are different POAs. In Florida, there is Durable Power of Attorney which would provide power to you when your father in law is incapacitated (not of sound mind) as well as capacitated. A Springing Power of Attorney would provide power to you only in times when your father in law is incapacitated. In order to execute the correct Power of Attorney, certain and specific language needs to be included.

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