, ,

A Power of Attorney cannot be used after the person has died.

This week I was contacted by a former client who presented a serious legal problem.  She had been living with her special friend, in the home that was in the friend’s sole name.  The friend had made a will leaving everything to my client.  Suddenly, the friend was stricken by a life-ending illness and was not expected to survive more than two days.  The friend was comatose and unable to act for himself. My client was distraught and more so, because she was afraid that creditors of the dying friend would take the house and remove her.  After a proper review this Probate Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Kim Douglas Sherman, discovered that the dying friend had properly prepared and signed a Durable Power of Attorney that authorized my client to take any legal action that the dying friend could take.  Attorney Sherman explained that a Durable Power of Attorney was only effective while the person who granted the Power of Attorney was alive.  Immediate action was required.  A deed to the home was prepared, signed by the client using the Power of Attorney, and the deed was filed in the public records before the death of the person who granted it.  There were other important issues to be considered such as the delay the filing of an estate would cause, the tax consequences related to the transfer price, the claims of potential creditors, and the effect of the transfer on the existing mortgage.  But, the point of this blog is to make you aware that a Power of Attorney must be used, if at all, BEFORE, the death of the person who granted the Power.


Here are several important things to consider:

  • Have a will prepared and make sure that it is properly signed and witnessed.
  • Understand that to be effective, a Durable Power of Attorney must be in a proper legal form, must be properly signed, witnessed, and notarized.
  • Be aware that under the current applicable Florida law, a Power of Attorney cannot be contingent–that is– it can be used immediately by the person to whom the power is granted.
  • In order to accomplish an effective management of assets and debts when a person is unable to act for themselves, make a plan and talk to a Wills and Power of Attorney Lawyer.


If you have questions or concerns about Wills or Power of Attorney Law in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida, or you need a probate law attorney to discuss your legal options, call Kim Douglas Sherman, Esquire at (954) 489-9500.  Please look at our qualifications set forth on our website.  Do not let yourself or your loved ones face uncertainty.  I look forward to helping you and those you love.