Do You Need A Power of Attorney for Estate Planning?

estate-planningPlanning your estate is one of the best ways you can protect all you have and continue to work for.  It not only makes the process of handling assets easier when it is your time to go, it also takes care of issues that may come up in the event you are incapacitated.  According to Florida law, there are a few documents that are used known as the “Core Four” that will enable you to plan your estate with the best outcome.  One of those core documents that make up an estate plan includes a power of attorney directive.

The Durable Power of Attorney

This directive grants legal authority to a delegated individual to make decisions on your behalf.  They are known as the “Attorney in Fact”.  These decisions can be related to financial matters, property matters and personal affairs.   A standard power of attorney is only good while you are alive.  It is not valid in the event you are incapacitated unless you have established a durable power of attorney.  A durable power of attorney extends beyond the standard PoA.  Most often they are the same, but it is important to distinguish the two when planning your estate in the event you are incapacitated.

The Power of Less Stress

No one likes to think that their family members will argue and battle over your estate, but the truth is that it often happens.  If you do not designate a durable power of attorney ahead of time, the assignment of a guardian over your estate will need to be given by a court order and that takes time and money.  Determining ahead of time who will make the biggest decisions and handle your affairs such as legal documents transferring ownership of property and other assets, is a gift in and of itself to those who will survive you.  They will be better able to grieve and avoid costly disputes that will need to be settled by the court.  Those court costs and further attorney fees will generally get pulled from your estate anyhow.

The Time is Now

A lot goes into planning your estate, including what happens in the event you become ill or unable to make decisions for yourself.  It is best to plan ahead and assign a power of attorney now as part of your estate planning.  Especially if you have children or special needs adults still under your care.  Online documents that offer the ease of not leaving your home are often lacking in the level of legal authority you will need.  Let a Melbourne, FL attorney give you peace of mind knowing your future will be planned for properly.

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