When you're facing a legal issue, it can be difficult to know where to turn. If you can't find free legal help, there are still options available to you. You can contact a lawyer referral service, hire a lawyer for part of the legal work, or try to resolve the issue yourself. Additionally, you can give someone else the legal authority to act on your behalf with a document called a power of attorney.
Miscommunication is a common problem between law firm clients and their attorneys. Before hiring an attorney, make sure they have the capacity to handle your case. There's no excuse for not returning phone calls or emails within a reasonable period of time. If you feel like your attorney is making decisions for you without consulting you, it's okay to dismiss them.
When creating a power of attorney document, it's important to specify what powers you are granting to your agent and when those powers will take effect. If you're not sure if an attorney has acted ethically or if you're not satisfied with their services, the Florida Bar Association manages the Consumer Assistance Program for Lawyers (ACAP). This program accepts complaints against lawyers and investigates them. If you use power of attorney for a real estate transaction, you must register with the Registrar of Deeds office before or at the same time as the deed of the property being bought or sold.
A copy of the power of attorney will be made for the public record and the original will be returned to the person presenting it. It's important to understand what a power of attorney means and consider all risks and alternatives before signing one. To learn more about how to use a durable power of attorney to plan your future medical care, read our article entitled Frequently Asked Questions About Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care.