Estate planning is complex, and it’s a sensitive topic because it deals with vulnerabilities and the end of life. In Florida, power of attorney can be a very useful tool in estate planning. Understanding how to create a valid power of attorney is important for any adult.
The basics of a power of attorney
A power of attorney makes it possible for one person to act as agent for another under certain circumstances. Typically, it’s used when someone becomes disabled. For example, if you have a power of attorney and you’re in an accident that leaves you comatose, the power of attorney could go into effect. Once you’re recovered, it would be terminated.
Power of attorney documents are also very useful for people who are aging and lose the ability to be responsible for their own care. In some cases, families may employ two powers of attorney: One person may take over medical decisions while the other handles finances.
Writing a power of attorney document in Florida
Florida has very clear rules about what constitutes a valid power of attorney. Typically, the state will recognize POAs that were executed in other states or in the military even if they are slightly different to the Florida requirements. However, these are still complex documents, so it’s a good idea to seek legal advice when developing a plan for power of attorney.
Consulting an experienced attorney while developing an estate plan may be one way of avoiding problems at the end of life. Also, it’s important to understand that estate planning is an ongoing, lifelong process. Adults in Florida need to revisit their estate plans as their families change due to birth, death and divorce to make sure their current wishes will be carried out.