A durable financial power of attorney in Florida is a simple and reliable way to arrange for someone to manage your finances if you become incapacitated and are no longer able to make your own financial and legal decisions.
It’s an important and essential element of your estate plan for peace of mind, and can avoid the costs, delays and publicity related to a guardianship.
What is a “durable” financial power of attorney?
If you want your financial power of attorney to stay in effect in the event you become incapacitated, you must explicitly state the financial power of attorney is “durable.”
If a power of attorney is not durable, then the authority of the named agent ends if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself.
In Florida, all durable powers of attorney are effective immediately upon execution; there is no proof required that you are disabled.
As a result, choosing those persons you can trust as agent is a very important decision.
What power is your agent granted?
By creating and signing a durable financial power of attorney document, you will be granting another person legal authority to act on your behalf.
This person is often called an agent or attorney in fact.
Most people give their agents the power to handle all of their financial and legal decisions, but a grant of broad powers is not required.
You can choose to delegate as much or as little power as you want to your agent.
Some of the common activities agents are trusted to do include:
- Paying your bills.
- Making investments on your behalf.
- Managing your assets to pay everyday expenses for you and your family.
- Filing your taxes.
- Running your small business.
- Handling your real estate and property.
- Collecting government benefits.
- Managing your retirement accounts.
- Buying insurance.
When does it end?
Your durable financial power of attorney ends automatically at your death or if you are ever adjudicated as incapacitated.
If you desire for your agent to have authority to manage your affairs after your death, you will have to name that person in your will or living trust.
Other ways a durable power of attorney can end is if you decide to revoke it, you file for a divorce and your spouse is your agent, or if for some reason a court determines your document is invalid.
Contact the law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan
As Central Florida’s leading estate planning and elder law firm – and the only Florida law firm with two attorneys board certified in both Wills, Trusts and Estates and Elder Law – we can help.