Right now, you are of sound mind and can make your own decisions. Unfortunately, that can change in an instant. For example, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury in an accident or experience a severe cognitive decline due to dementia. If that happens, someone will have to step in to make decisions for you to protect your interests and well-being.
Sadly, some people fail to plan for incapacity, and their loved ones are forced to petition the court for guardianship over their loved ones to make decisions on their behalf. Fortunately, your family can avoid legal turmoil and emotional trauma if you include a durable power of attorney in your estate plan.
Contact our Florida attorney today to discuss your needs.
You have three main options when creating a power of attorney in Florida. Your Attorney can assist you with a:
If you want to select someone to manage your financial affairs after you become incapacitated, you will need to draft a durable power of attorney. First, a Florida attorney will discuss your estate planning goals to determine which powers you wish to grant. Additionally, the attorney can include restrictions so the agent does not make decisions outside of the scope of the agreement.
Unlike a general or limited power of attorney, a durable power of attorney remains in effect after you have been deemed incapacitated. Thus, you can expect a much easier transfer of power than would occur if your family had to petition the court for guardianship.
After you create the document, you need to store it in a safe place. Then, let your family members know so they can access the original document if needed.
If you become incapacitated, you will also need someone to manage your medical affairs for you. While some states have medical powers of attorney, Florida residents need to complete a Designation of Health Care Surrogate form. The person you choose will be known as your surrogate and will have control over your medical decisions if you are unable to manage them yourself. The surrogate’s duties can include consulting with healthcare providers, providing informed consent, and making healthcare decisions. Additionally, the surrogate can apply for public benefits and help you get admitted to a long-term care facility, if needed.
A Florida attorney can help you designate a healthcare surrogate. After creating the document, store it somewhere safe. For instance, you can place it next to your durable power of attorney.
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You can choose any adult to serve as your agent when drafting a power of attorney. However, it is important to select someone that you trust to make decisions based on your wishes and in your best interest. Additionally, it is wise to include successor agents when creating the document. A successor agent can take over the duties if the predecessor agent resigns, passes away, or becomes incapacitated. Additionally, the agent might decline to serve when the time comes. If that happens, the successor agent can take on the duties. You also might want to add co-agents that can work in tandem when managing your financial affairs.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.