A power of attorney for use in Fort Myers, Florida is one of the most important components of an estate plan. If you want to have control over what happens if an accident or medical event leaves you incapacitated, you should strongly consider creating a power of attorney. However, you need to understand what the process involves and what a power of attorney can do for you so you can make informed choices.
Barbara M. Pizzolato, P.A. understands how to create a valid power of attorney for use in Fort Myers, Florida. Our legal team can help you to understand how a power of attorney works and what your power of attorney can do in the event that tragedy strikes and you can no longer make your own decisions or manage your own affairs. Give us a call as soon as possible to find out more about the assistance we can offer.
Why A Power of Attorney for use in Fort Myers, Florida Should be Part of Your Estate Plan
A power of attorney should be a part of your estate plan because a power of attorney is essential to protecting assets and to maintaining as much autonomy as possible. Regardless of your age, something unfortunate might happen to you at any time which might make you unable to communicate your own preferences or manage your own assets. If that happens, and you can no longer make decisions, express your wishes, or care for your property, someone will need to take over for you. When you create a power of attorney while you are well, you are the one who gets to select who will be in charge of managing property and making decisions for you. You name an agent to act for you and that person has the authority to act as your attorney-in-fact.
If you haven’t created a power of attorney while you are well, then your family has to go to court and initiate guardianship proceedings. The Lee County probate court oversees guardianship proceedings for those who live in Fort Myers, Florida. Your family will need to pay court filing fees, hire an attorney and follow formal legal processes in the Lee County Courthouse to have someone declared your guardian. This can be costly, it can be stressful, and it can take time during which your assets aren’t appropriately managed. Not only that, but the person eventually appointed as guardian may be someone other than the person you would have preferred to care for your property and make your decisions. You don’t want to put yourself or your family in the position of not having named an agent to act for you when you no longer can.
What are the Rules for a Power of Attorney used in Fort Myers, Florida?
Florida Statutes Chapter 709 explains the rules for properly creating a valid power of attorney. A power of attorney can transfer authority to an agent of your choosing. The power of attorney must specify that it is durable if you want it to remain in effect once you have become incapacitated. Since the very reason people create a power of attorney during estate planning is to provide asset management in case of incapacity, you must ensure you use the proper language to make your grant of authority durable.
Florida Statutes Section 709.2104 explains how to make your power of attorney durable. It must contain the words: “This durable power of attorney is not terminated by subsequent incapacity of the principal except as provided in chapter 709, Florida Statutes.”
If it does not contain that particular phrase, your power of attorney can still be considered durable as long as it contains: “similar words that show the principal’s intent that the authority conferred is exercisable notwithstanding the principal’s subsequent incapacity.”
There are also some other formal requirements for creating a legally valid and durable power of attorney. In order to make sure that your grant of authority is done properly and provides the protection necessary, you should work with a Fort Myers lawyer who can help you to create a power of attorney that will have legal effect when you need it to.
Getting Help from a Fort Myers Lawyer to create a valid Power of Attorney
If you are ready to create a power of attorney and you want to make certain that your legal document vests the authority you need and provides the protection that you expect, you should get legal help from Fort Myers law firm, Barbara M. Pizzolato, P.A. They can provide the legal advice you need on how a power of attorney can protect you and can prepare a valid power of attorney that will be legally enforceable when you need it. To find out more about how our legal team can assist you, give us a call today at at (239)-225-7911 or contact us online.