Having an estate plan is critical for Florida residents who own property or have assets such as a car, bank and retirement accounts. A will can ensure loved ones, and other beneficiaries receive the items as you desire. At Dickman Law Firm, our family law attorneys have experience assisting clients in drafting and updating their will and other related documents.

According to Forbes, a power of attorney is an essential part of estate planning. It gives one or more agents the ability to act on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. Depending on your needs, it can limit the authority to medical or financial issues. A POA can also be general, empowering the agent to manage your affairs when you are unable, and continues as long as necessary.

Ideally, your agent can take over the management of financial and medical issues seamlessly, but it often does not happen that way. Your financial institution may not accept a power of attorney executed less than six months earlier. If the POA is in long-standing, you may need to reaffirm it in writing periodically. In some cases, the document must contain specific language.

Attorneys representing the financial institution may review it before deciding whether it is acceptable. Your agent must still prove they are the person named in a power of attorney with picture identification and additional verification. Smooth the way for your agent, who is often a child or other family member, by asking what the acceptance requirements are at each financial institution you deal with and try to comply. Consolidating accounts can also make it easier when the time comes for your agent to act. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.