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Creating a power of attorney to protect your estate

| Oct 9, 2019 | Estate Planning |

As you get older, you may start to wonder what will happen to your property if you become incapacitated. While it can be hard to think about, an illness or injury can leave you unable to make financial decisions for yourself. However, if you plan ahead, you can make sure a trusted friend or family member has the power to manage your finances.

By naming a power of attorney, you make sure that someone you trust will take care of your finances if you are not able to. But Florida has certain specifications for naming a power of attorney. Here are some guidelines you will need to follow:

  • Signing correctly – When you name someone as your power of attorney, you must sign a document that officially names that person. You must have a notarized signature with two witnesses.
  • Naming specific powers – When you draft a power of attorney, you must list the exact responsibilities the person will have authority over. A blanket statement giving the person full control is not valid in Florida.
  • Durable power of attorney – Florida does not allow you to state that your power of attorney only becomes active when you become incapacitated. Once you sign the power of attorney, it becomes active.
  • Naming multiple agents – You can give more than one person power of attorney. But they do not have to agree on how to act. Each person can make different decisions for your property.

If you choose not to sign a power of attorney, a court may assign you a guardian if you become incapacitated. Signing a power of attorney before that happens lets you choose a person you trust to control your finances.

A power of attorney is a way for you to protect your estate should anything happen to you.