A comprehensive estate plan consists of several estate planning documents. One key estate planning instrument is called a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney gives a person the power to manage another’s financial affairs. Typically, the person who creates a durable power of attorney is called a principal, and the person who is given the power to act on the principal’s behalf is called an agent. As opposed to a standard power of attorney, a durable power of attorney remains in effect after a principal becomes incapacitated. In this article, we discuss the importance of a durable power of attorney in Florida.
Avoid Court Intervention
Should you become incapacitated without a durable power of attorney in place, your loved ones may have to initiate a court proceeding to obtain the authority to act on your behalf. By creating a durable power of attorney, however, your family can avoid this process altogether, saving time and money in the process.
Pay Medical Bills
Following a medical emergency, you may not be in the position to pay your medical bills or communicate with your insurance company. A durable power of attorney will give an agent of your choosing the authority to handle these tasks while you recover.
A durable power of attorney can also allow a person whom you appoint to handle financial matters on your behalf. So, should you become incapacitated, your agent will have the ability to access your financial information and make important decisions regarding financial issues, such as bills, investments, and more.
Assign or Transfer Property
Another important function of a durable power of attorney is that it can allow your agent to assign or transfer property on your behalf. For example, if you have a comprehensive estate plan in place, you can give your agent the authority to transfer property into your trust.
The Bottom Line
A durable power of attorney is an important legal tool that can provide you with significant protection if you use it correctly. However, it is important to make agent designations carefully because anyone you make an agent will have significant power in handling your affairs. Therefore, before drafting a durable power of attorney and choosing one or more agents, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer
If you need estate planning assistance in Florida, the Law Office of Angela Siegel is here for you. Estate planning attorney Angela Siegel has years of experience creating comprehensive estate plans for clients in both Florida and New York. So, when you come to her for help with your estate planning needs, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with our talented Florida estate planning lawyer.