The wide variety of options available to Florida residents when it comes to estate planning can make the task seem daunting. However, the reality is that a comprehensive estate plan can be crucial for almost anyone, so it is important to get started. Understanding some of the basic documents in an estate plan, and their purpose, can be a great starting point.
For example, what are “power of attorney” documents and why should they be in your estate plan? Simply put, a power of attorney document allows you to authorize another person to make important decisions on your behalf, primarily financial and healthcare decisions. You can appoint one person for both types of situations, or separate people for each. Most people select a close relative, but you can select whomever you trust to make these decisions if you are unable to do so.
Why have power of attorney documents?
“What” these documents are is one thing, but the “why” behind having them in your estate plan is another. No one likes to think that they’ll ever face a scenario in which they are incapacitated and unable to make decisions. But, accidents happen, and so do other health scares, particularly as people get older. Having these documents in place can help ensure that there is someone ready to take care of things for you.
If you have a business, for example, you don’t want to see it crumble if you are in an accident and are hospitalized for days or weeks. Or, if you already have existing health needs that get worse, you want someone who knows your conditions and your thoughts on your health care path to make those decisions if you are unable to. Power of attorney documents should definitely be a part of your comprehensive estate plan.