We have discussed a variety of estate planning tools that help your beneficiaries and heirs to have what they need to handle your estate when you are gone. One of the tools that is commonly used in estate plans is the financial power of attorney. In Florida, there are some very specific points you should know before you sign the documents necessary to appoint a financial power of attorney.
Prior to Oct. 1, 2011, you could set up a financial power of attorney that would go into effect on a certain date or if you became incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own. Those springing financial powers of attorney are no longer available unless the document was signed prior to Oct. 1, 2011.
As it stands now, Florida only recognized a financial power of attorney that goes into effect immediately. This means that when you sign the document, the person you granted power of attorney to can begin making decisions on your behalf.
We understand that this is a big decision. We can discuss your situation with you and offer some guidance about how to proceed. One of the first things you should realize is that the person you appoint these powers to can apply for public aid for you, operate your business, handle transactions relating to your real estate, manage your money, and handle insurance transactions, among others.
With all of that in mind, you should only appoint someone you totally trust. We know that your wishes might change over time, and we can help you to reevaluate your decision and execute changes when necessary.