Are You in Need of a Fort Lauderdale Power of Attorney or Guardianship?
Estate planning involves more than drafting a last will and testament. You can also use estate planning to create documents to protect you if you become incapacitated and are no longer able to make decisions for yourself because of an accident or illness. These documents, called powers of attorney, allow you to grant the authority to act on your behalf to a trusted third party in the event of your incapacitation.
If you are incapacitated and do not have a power of attorney in place, the court will appoint a guardian for you instead of you being able to choose who you want to have the power to make decisions for you. Fort Lauderdale estate planning attorney Rhonda D. Zimmerman helps adults of all ages draft powers of attorney so that they can be protected in the event they are incapacitated so that their families can avoid the lengthy and expensive guardianship process.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A Fort Lauderdale power of attorney is a type of estate planning document that you can use to designate someone to serve as your attorney-in-fact. The attorney-in-fact does not have to be a lawyer. Instead, you can name someone you trust to handle your affairs for you in case you become incapacitated in the future. You can choose how much or how little power to grant your agent or attorney-in-fact, and you can also establish the terms under which the power of attorney will become effective.
A financial power of attorney allows you to grant your agent the authority to make financial decisions for you, pay bills, and do other things to manage your finances when you are incapacitated. People in Florida can also create medical powers of attorney, which are called a designation of healthcare surrogate, to grant the authority to a trusted person to make healthcare decisions for them when they are incapacitated.
What Is a Guardianship?
If you do not have a power of attorney in place and become incapable of making financial or healthcare decisions, your family will have to go through the guardianship process in court. Through this process, the court might appoint a guardian or conservator to make decisions for you and manage your finances and healthcare. You will not have a say in who is appointed as your guardian or how much power the appointee will have over you to make decisions. The guardianship process is lengthy and expensive, and it involves a substantial loss of freedom for the ward.
Talk to an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Attorney
All adults should at least have powers of attorney in place. Even young adults should consider drafting powers of attorney to grant their parents or others the ability to make decisions for them if they are incapacitated in accidents. Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. is an experienced estate planning attorney who can help you prepare a power of attorney and any other estate planning documents that might be needed. Contact the Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. by calling (561) 672-7265.