When you created your Florida estate plan, was your goal as you worked with your Florida estate planning attorney to plan forward to be sure that you, your loved ones, your business, and what you care about most were protected from uncertainty? If so, you took the proactive step to make a plan that will protect your loved ones and continue your legacy at the time of your passing, and also ensure that you are provided for during your lifetime.
Know that your Florida estate plan is about much more than who inherits from you at the time of your death. Your Florida estate plan can also ensure that you are protected during your lifetime as well, by creating advanced directives. As part of your comprehensive Florida estate plan, advanced directives include documents that allow you to name a decision maker or agent to act for you should you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself.
A power of attorney is an important Florida estate planning tool. Your power of attorney will allow you to name a person you trust to make decisions for you should you be unable to do so yourself. Examples of these powers can include, but not be limited to, paying your mortgage if you were out of town, making sure your paycheck was deposited, making investment decisions for you, and even making health care decisions if you and your estate planning attorney choose to add these powers in this estate planning tool as well.
Are there pros and cons to the power of attorney? If so, what are the pros, and the cons, of creating such a document? What are the issues you might encounter when you use a power of attorney? Below we will share some of the issues of the pros and cons with you in our blog.
- Ensure there is a trusted decision maker, or agent, with legal authority to act in place should there come a time you cannot make decisions for yourself
- Planning early allows you the ability to choose who you want
- You can plan in advance to not only name a first choice, but a second, third, or more
- Avoid getting the court involved because you did not choose a person to act on your behalf and there is fighting over who should act for you
- Your agent can access all the public benefits you may need and more in a crisis
- The peace of mind that comes from knowing your choices will be honored even when you cannot make your own decisions
- Your estate planning attorney who understands your choices and can advocate for your wishes
- Not creating the right document for you, in other words, using a generic document that will not provide the lifetime protection you need
- The authority to act for you takes effect the minute the document is signed so you will need to be diligent in how you choose to handle and share information about this estate planning tool
- Creating a power of attorney that is not durable, which means it will not be able to be used when you are incapacitated
- Only naming one future decisions maker
- Not carefully choosing the person who will act on your behalf and, instead, choosing someone who you think “should” be given this role even though this individual may not be the most qualified person
In truth, the creation of your durable power of attorney will provide many more pros than cons. The benefits of creating this estate planning tool far outweigh any potential cons. Your Florida estate planning attorney will be able to answer your specific questions and work with you to create a document that will protect you and help you reach your goals for yourself, your family, and your business.
Our office can help guide a family through long-term care planning for aging parents and loved ones. No matter where you are in life’s journey, we can help. The most important thing is to protect yourself and those you love. Whether you need to update your estate plan, are preparing for future long-term care needs, or have a loved one entering or already in a nursing home, we are ready to assist you. We have three convenient locations and are ready to serve the communities around Highlands and Polk County, Florida. Take your first step by contacting us today.