Boca Raton Durable Power of Attorney
When you create a durable power of attorney, you authorize another person, known as your attorney-in-fact or agent, to handle your financial affairs to assist now or if you become unable to. There are many important considerations when choosing who will be responsible for such serious and sensitive matters. Below, our Boca Raton durable power of attorney lawyers explain more about these legal documents.
Two Types of Durable Powers of Attorney in Boca Raton
There are two types of durable powers of attorney. A Springing Power of Attorney authorizes your agent to act only when you are incapacitated. The law on Powers of Attorney in Florida changed on October 1, 2011. As such, documents pertaining to a Springing Power of Attorney are only valid if they were executed before that date.
All other durable powers of attorney are referred to as Immediate Powers of Attorney. All documents executed after October 1, 2011, are considered Immediate Power of Attorney. As its name suggests, these documents give agents the authority to immediately begin handling a person’s financial matters.
What Happens if You Do Not Have a Durable Power of Attorney?
If you do not have a durable power of attorney in place, your family members may face many challenges when dealing with your brokerage, bank, insurance companies, and utility companies. They may even need to pursue an intrusive and costly court-ordered guardianship. By having a durable power of attorney, you and your family members can avoid these legal issues. You will know that in the event you become capacitated, someone you love and trust, and not the courts, will handle your legal affairs.
What Powers Does a Durable Power of Attorney Have?
A durable power of attorney is a strong legal tool. Still, your agent is not automatically given the authority to do anything you could do on your own. Within the legal document, you must outline the specific powers you would like your agent to have. You must consider these powers within the broader goals of your entire estate plan.
For example, if you believe you will need Medicaid at some point in the future, you probably want to give your agent the authority to gift loved ones on your behalf, which can minimize your assets and give you a better chance of being approved for Medicaid, if done in an appropriate manner. Any durable power of attorney should also include limitations on the agent, to provide protection from potential financial abuse.
Our Boca Raton Lawyers Can Help With All Aspects of Your Estate Plan
A durable power of attorney is an important part of any estate plan. At SAMUELS WOOD PLLC, our Boca Raton durable power of attorney lawyer can help you determine which powers you want to include, while also helping you determine who is the best choice to act as your agent. Call us now at 561-864-3371 to schedule a consultation with our experienced attorney or reach out to us online to learn more about how we can help with your estate plan.