The Benefits of Drafting a Power of Attorney for Individuals in Fort Myers and Cape Coral

A power of attorney is a common type of estate planning tool in the state of Florida. The legal relationship created by these documents are so complicated that the state of Florida has passed specific laws that deal exclusively with powers of attorney. While some powers of attorney are limited to specific activities, other powers of attorney are much more expansive in nature and can help a person handle a variety of issues. A Florida estate planning attorney can assist in determining how to create the best power of attorney possible.

The Main Types of Powers of Attorney

There are several types of powers of attorney which include the following:

  • Durable Power of Attorney. One of the most common types of powers of attorney documents, this tool remains valid even after a person is declared incapacitated. The state of Florida is particularly strict about how durable power of attorney documents must be created. This powerful document must be in writing, executed with the same formality as real property transactions, and must contain specific language.
  • General Power of Attorney. This document includes a list of activities that the person who is appointed attorney-in-fact can perform on behalf of the individual. If the actions are specifically listed in the document, the individual can perform any legal act on behalf of the principal that pertains to this designated list of permitted activities.
  • Limited Power of Attorney. This document defines a particular task that an attorney-in-fact can perform on behalf of an individual.

Typical Duties Appointed under Power of Attorney Documents

Many types of tasks can be designated under a power of attorney. The state of Florida has created a variety of laws regarding powers that a person must be individually signed or initialed. These powers include the following:

  • Altering right of survivorship.
  • Creating beneficiary designations.
  • Creating a trust.
  • Disclaim any powers of appointment.
  • Making a gift.

The Benefits of Power of Attorney

There are several advantages to power of attorney documents which include the following elements:

  • Allows an Individual to Make Decisions Rather Than a Court. If a person becomes incapacitated, a power of attorney may allow the appointed person to make health care and financial decisions for the incapacitated individual. Without a power of attorney, a court might be responsible for determining who should make decisions for the incapacitated person. There is a risk that the Court will appoint someone to make decisions that the individual does not want appointed for that purpose.
  • Avoid Questions About the Individual’s Intent. Well-crafted power of attorney documents can help avoid litigation and eliminate the potential for family members who disagree about the desires of an incapacitated loved one.
  • Protects Against Claims of Financial Abuse. Powers of attorney frequently allow individuals to perform financial activities on behalf of another person. By describing these types of details in a document, individuals are frequently able to avoid disputes about finances.

Contact a Lee County Estate Planning Attorney

If you require assistance with a power of attorney or any other type of estate planning tool, please contact me today at (239) 997-0078.

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