A Durable Power of Attorney for financial and property decisions is a legal tool in which you authorize another person (your agent) to act on your behalf if you’re no longer able to make financial decisions. It affords you the opportunity to safeguard your finances and your property!
In the arsenal of estate planning weapons, Powers of Attorney may be the single most important one. If you can no longer speak or act for yourself, they allow a trusted family member or friend to do it for you…according to your wishes. Without this document, your family may have to go through the trauma of court proceedings…and, even worse, a court-supervised guardianship and/or conservatorship.
Technically, you don’t need an attorney to draft the powers of attorney. However, without certain specific wording, your documents may not provide your agent with the powers to carry out your wishes. And the time and energy you’ll have invested in drawing it up will be wasted.
Some people buy a “powers of attorney” form online or from an office supply store. But this type of document may not address some important issues. In fact, the law states that your agent cannot handle certain matters without specific wording granting him those powers – among them making gifts, and removing or adding assets to a trust. And these won’t appear in a “form” document.
This is especially a big problem in Florida where the Durable Power of Attorney rules completely changed in October, 2011. We are recommending that all our clients update these very important documents. And it must be done by an attorney familiar with the new laws.
Powers of Attorney can be especially critical if a loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia. That’s why you should have this document done now…before it’s too late. Because once it is, your family will be put through the wringer!
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been helping families avoid that fate for 33 years. In fact, we’ve helped thousands of South Florida families craft effective, iron-clad Powers of Attorney. And we’ve helped them, as well, with wills, trusts, comprehensive estate plans, long-term-care plans, asset protection plans, and assistance with the VA or Medicaid. That’s what we do- we’re Elder Law attorneys.
Your family doesn’t have to be put through the wringer. We’re only a phone call away.
What’s A Durable Power Of Attorney For Property/Financial Decisions? And Do I Need An Attorney To Draft It?