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  • Writer's pictureWarnock Law Group

Estate Planning: Everything You Need to Know About Durable Power of Attorneys (DPOAs)

If you’re thinking about creating an estate plan, you’ve likely never heard of durable powers of attorney documents. However, you’d be surprised how essential they’re for your estate plan. For starters, they can protect you and your family from any potential accident that could happen at any time.

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on different services to create your durable powers of attorney. Most legal professionals suggest hiring an estate plan lawyer to help with that because these are crucial documents that require special care.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, this article will explain everything you need to know about DPOAs and what you need to create one.

What are the Durable Powers of Attorneys?

Essentially, durable powers of attorneys (DPOAs) are written documents in which the person who creates the document, also known as the principal, gives another person (the agent) authority to make decisions on their behalf. Additionally, depending on the specifics, the document may grant general or limited authority to the agent.

Usually, if the principal becomes incapable, the agent’s authority can be terminated. However, if the power of attorney meets the statutory requirements, the agent’s authority stays the same, regardless of whether the principal is incapable.

Many people might have difficulties distinguishing between the roles of the principal and agent. If that’s the case with you, consider speaking to professional law firms. For example, if you live in Fort Meyers, Florida, you can contact the Warnock Law Group. They're a team of qualified lawyers who can provide additional information about the authority of the DPOA.

If you include durable powers of attorney in your estate plan after you become incapacitated, you’re assigning other people to make decisions on your behalf about specific matters.

How Can You Establish Your Durable Powers of Attorney?

The approach you take to create your durable powers of attorney matters. Yet, using internet services or other forms can ruin your document. If you do so, the DPOA document may not accomplish what they intend to do, or it may not even be valid.

One of the most common mistakes people make when creating a durable power of attorney document is they don’t take advice from lawyers who have experience handling such cases. Working with Estate Planning Lawyers results in proper authority and protection of your assets. rAdditionally, these lawyers will consider your preferences and wishes are stated in the DPOA, and explain what you can gain from this document.

What Happens If You Don’t Have DPOA?

In most states, an estate plan has two types of DPOA: the durable power of attorney for healthcare and the durable power of attorney for finances. If you become incapable permanently or temporarily, your DPOA for finances can authorize your agent to manage your finances. Similarly, they can also authorize that person to make medical decisions for you.

Luckily, you can express your wishes in the document and appoint a close person you trust to act on your behalf. However, if you don’t have these documents, no one can make decisions for you, not even your spouse. If someone wants to gain authority, they must petition the court to become your guardian and conservator.

These two proceedings are also known as living probate, meaning the judge might appoint a guardian or conservator to make health care and financial decisions on your behalf. Unfortunately, these proceedings are time-consuming, expensive, and delayed.

The best option would be to create durable powers of attorney while still legally capable of signing the documents. You never know when you might become incapacitated, so it’s better to act beforehand than avoid it until it’s too late.

If you need more help with creating a durable power of attorney document, you can contact us at:

6843 Porto Fino Cir,

Fort Myers, FL 33912, USA

(239) 437-1197

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