Many estate plans focus on what will happen after the client dies and virtually ignore what financial arrangements should be made during the client’s lifetime. If you would like to appoint another person to be able to make financial decisions on your behalf, a Largo estate planning lawyer can help establish a power of attorney for you.
A Largo estate planning lawyer may define the following terms:
- agent or attorney-in-fact – the individual who is given the right to make financial decisions on another person’s behalf
- principal – the person who is giving the other individual the right to make financial decisions on his or her behalf
- financial power of attorney – the legal document that provides the powers that the principal gives the agent
As the principal, you can determine which powers you want to give the agent, when you want the person to start having those powers and when you want them to cease having these powers.
Some FPOAs Address Specific Situations
Your Largo estate planning attorney can explain that some financial power of attorney designations are limited in nature. These special power of attorney designations may limit the powers, such as only giving the agent the right to write checks on your behalf or the amount of time that the agent will have these powers. For example, if you inform your Largo estate planning lawyer that you will be out of the country, he or she may recommend that you provide a start and end date for the agent.
Statutory power of attorney forms usually provide for general powers to be provided to the agent without you having to do much more than initial the page. However, there are certain powers that you may have to specifically list on your power of attorney document. For example, you may have to specifically state that you give your financial power of attorney the right to change your beneficiaries, trusts or will.
Commencement and Termination of Financial Power of Attorneys
A Largo estate planning attorney can explain that there are ways that you can ensure that your financial power of attorney be able to act on your behalf when needed. For example, by making the power of attorney durable in nature, your agent will continue to be able to act as your agent in this capacity even if you become disabled or incapacitated. Additionally, your power of attorney can start taking action immediately. If you are worried only about someone handling your affairs if you are incapacitated, your attorney may recommend that you use a “springing” power of attorney. All power of attorney designations naturally expire at death.
If you would like assistance in establishing your power of attorney, contact the Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474.