POWERS OF ATTORNEY & ADVANCE DIRECTIVES
Serving Clients in Miami and the Surrounding Area
At Estate Counsel, we create both durable general powers of attorney and advance directives for our clients. These documents round out your estate planning, and truly create peace of mind.
Powers of Attorney
When you sign a power of attorney, you are appointing someone as your agent to act on your behalf. This power can be the power to sell, the power to buy, the power to contract, the power to invest, the power to manage real estate, the power to operate businesses, etc. As you can see, it is an incredibly powerful legal document, and it should be crafted with great care. Your agent is bound to act in your best interest. If your agent abuses their power, the agent can be held legally accountable. It is critical that you designate an agent who has a history of acting responsibly, especially when it comes to finances.
General Durable Power of Attorney
With a General Durable Power of Attorney, the agent, or agents, you appoint can manage your finances on your behalf. Because it is difficult to prove to a financial institution that a person is disabled, it is often best to have this power become effective upon signing, rather than upon disability. For this reason, it may not be advisable to give this power to your agent but rather let your agent know where he or she can find the power in the event that you become unable to manage your own affairs.
It is important to note that even with a power of attorney (POA), most financial institutions will require further verification before accepting the POA. The POA needs to be crafted carefully, and your agent needs to be instructed clearly on how to use the POA. It is best to update your POAs every few years.