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Power of Attorney- One Item Probably Not on Your Hurricane Shopping List

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, I usually attempt to instill a little humor into my writing or give you a little something to “take away” as food for thought. My last blog asked people to contemplate those in Texas who were suffering the effects of Hurricane Harvey. I noted that those in Houston who were going through a divorce were probably not concerned about an upcoming hearing at that point, and that those folks here in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach should think about that before lashing out at a soon-to-be ex- spouse.

Well, here we are, on the cusp of Hurricane Irma, and whatever she brings, it is not going to be good. I am reflecting back 25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew hit and I was fortunate enough to not suffer the devastation our neighbors to the south experienced. So, at that time, seven months pregnant, I headed down to Homestead with a group of other attorneys to try and help out as best we could. Many people wanted to send their children off to relatives who lived away from the devastation. So one of the documents we helped people with was the creation of limited powers of attorney. With a limited power of attorney, the parents could give their relatives the ability to act in their stead on a limited basis until the children could be reunited with their parents. This is helpful for, among other things, registering children for school and getting the children medical treatment.

Since technology has advanced in the last 25 years, I found a free, online fill in power of attorney form, and have included the link below. Hopefully nobody will need this. However, just in case… I suggest you download the form, even if in blank, for now (since lack of electric power is a certainty), and hang on to it.

The most important part of the form, however, is the part to fill in the exact powers that one is giving to the other person. To that end, the following is some very broad- all- encompassing language that I offer only as a suggestion…and not as legal advice. Please feel free to review it, use it, and modify it as you may chose. Here it goes:

…This power shall include taking any action necessary for the health, safety and welfare of [Name of Children], including but not limited to executing any and all medical consent forms for the care and health of [Name of Children].

The undersigned further authorize said attorney-in-fact to take any further action that said attorney-in-fact shall consider necessary or advisable in connection with the health, safety and welfare of [name of children], hereby giving said attorneys-in-fact full power and authority to do and perform each and every act or thing whatsoever requisite or advisable to be done and performed in connection with the foregoing as fully as such undersigned might or could do and perform personally, and hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact shall lawfully do and perform or cause to be done and performed by virtue thereof or hereof.

I sincerely hope that if you chose to create a power of attorney it is a big waste of time. We are all in the same boat…here’s wishing that we make it through with smooth sailing.

-Cindy S. Vova

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