Appointing a power of attorney is an important step to take in the event that you ever become incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs. The role of a power of attorney is to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf so that you are able to continue carrying out these activities despite your compromised mental or physical state.
Choosing the right person to take over your estate can be overwhelming. There are, however, a few ways in which you can make sure that you appoint a capable agent.
At Candela Law Firm, our estate attorneys in Tampa strive to help each client protect their earnings and assets under all circumstances. Below we have provided a list of everything you need to know about appointing a power of attorney.
Who is allowed to be your POA
The term, “power of attorney” is often confusing for grantors. This title simply refers to the document that is drafted, and does not mean the agent of your choosing must be an attorney. On the contrary, most grantors prefer to select a close friend, life partner, or family member who they feel they can trust to carry out their wishes in a fiscally responsible manner.
How to choose the right POA
Appointing a power of attorney means granting someone the serious responsibility of managing your financial and legal affairs when you are unable to do so. Without the right person in charge of these duties, you could risk losing a large portion of your estate, inadvertently missing bill payments, and receiving inadequate medical care. Therefore, it is advisable to choose someone who is of an appropriate age and intellect to understand the complexities of your affairs, and who you consider trustworthy enough to honor your wishes while incapacitated. If you do not have someone in mind, it is also possible to hire a professional.
Types of POAs
When appointing a power of attorney, many grantors are unclear on how to limit the power that the appointed individual has to make decisions on their behalf. There are different types of POAs that grantors can choose from depending on their specific needs. First, you may consider appointing a “Personal Care Power of Attorney.” This is useful in cases where the donor is incapacitated due to a health condition for which further medical decisions may need to be made. If you are not able to communicate your wishes, your POA will be able to make decisions surrounding your treatment plan, whether you reside at home or in a care facility, and in extreme circumstances, whether or not to continue life support.
If you do not feel that you require your POA to make medical decisions on your behalf, you may be better off appointing a “Property Power of Attorney.” In this case, your agent will strictly have the power to manage your assets and accounts. They will be responsible for making investments, paying bills, and performing any other tasks as they relate to your finances.
Duration of the agreement
Although a power of attorney becomes most valuable in cases where you are rendered mentally incapacitated, it is also possible to appoint a loved one to manage your affairs only up until you have entered into a non-communicative state. A “General Power of Attorney” is only expected to carry out these duties for as long as they can obtain information from the grantor. In contrast, appointing someone as an “Enduring Power of Attorney” holds your agent responsible for making decisions until the time of your death.
Contact us today to speak to a trusted estate attorney in Tampa.