As a Florida resident, an essential aspect of your estate planning involves the creation of a power of attorney. Sometimes called a letter of attorney, the document provides written authorization for someone to act on your behalf when you are incapacitated. While it’s critical that you establish a power of attorney, it does come with limitations.
The importance of maintaining an updated power of attorney
A power of attorney allows the agent you appoint to pay bills and manage your assets. When you don’t have a POA, often the court must step in to appoint a guardian or custodian on your behalf.
Having a power of attorney provides you with a legal document to appoint someone you trust who protects your interests. The power of attorney may provide an agent authorization to act, but a financial firm doesn’t need to accept the authority. Some firms put extra restrictions on the power of attorney, and may not accept a power of attorney that is too old.
Some firms have very specific requirements and may require you to use a form that they provide. With so many restrictions, getting in touch with the firm before you need to use a POA can help protect your interests and offer peace of mind.
Other tools that that can be helpful
While you need to regularly update and maintain your power of attorney, other options also exist to protect your rights. Understanding the different types of trusts and establishing a revocable living trust can make things run more smoothly.