Power of Attorney Lawyer Lakeland Florida
For most people, a durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available; even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person you trust (called your “attorney-in-fact”) to act in your place, and on your behalf, for financial purposes in the event you ever become incapacitated.
The individual you choose to represent your interests, by granting them power of attorney, will be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs. In the absence of a durable power of attorney, the only way to have someone represent your financial affairs is if the courts appoint a conservator or guardian.
The court process to appoint a conservator or guardian may take a considerable period of time, costs money, and you may run the risk of having a judge choose someone other than the person you may have a preference for. In addition, under a guardianship or conservatorship, your representative may have to seek court permission to take planning steps that he (or she) could implement immediately under a simple durable power of attorney.
As a law firm providing experienced power of attorney legal services, assisting Lakeland, Tampa, Plant City, Winter Haven, Bartow, and surrounding area residents with power of attorney and other estate law legal issues, we are committed to protecting the legal rights of each and every client, while always striving to provide the highest standard of legal representation.
If you are dealing with power of attorney legal issues or disputes, make sure your legal rights are protected by seeking the legal advice of an experienced Lakeland power of attorney, lawyer by contacting Gregg S. Kamp, P.A., at (863) 646-3135.
A power of attorney may be limited or general. A limited power of attorney may give someone the right to sign a deed to property on a day when you are out of town. Or it may allow someone to sign checks for you. A general power of attorney is more comprehensive and gives your attorney-in-fact all the powers and rights that you have yourself.
A power of attorney may also be either current or “springing.” Most powers of attorney take effect immediately upon their execution, even if the understanding is that they will not be used until and unless the grantor becomes incapacitated. However, the document can also be written so that the power of attorney does not become effective until such incapacity occurs. In dealing with incapacity, it is extremely important that the standard for determining incapacity and triggering the power of attorney be clearly identified and noted in the document itself.
While you should seriously consider executing a durable power of attorney, if you do not have someone you trust to appoint it may be more appropriate to have the probate court looking over the shoulder of the person who is handling your affairs through a guardianship or conservatorship. In that case, you may execute a limited durable power of attorney simply nominating the person you want to serve as your conservator or guardian. Most states require the court to respect your nomination “except for good cause or disqualification.”
It is important that you understand that in recent years, individuals have been experiencing increasing difficulty in getting banks or other financial institutions to recognize the authority of an agent under a durable power of attorney. A certain amount of caution on the part of financial institutions is understandable: When someone steps forward claiming to represent the account holder, the financial institution wants to verify that the attorney-in-fact indeed has the authority to act for the principal. Still, some institutions go overboard, for example: requiring that the attorney-in-fact indemnify them against any loss. Many banks or other financial institutions have their own standard power of attorney forms. To avoid problems, you may want to execute such forms offered by the institutions with which you have accounts. In addition, many attorneys counsel their clients to create living trusts in part to avoid this sort of problem with powers of attorney.
When dealing with power of attorney legal issues or disputes, it is important to seek the legal advice and representation of an experienced legal counsel as soon as possible, as the longer you wait to obtain legal representation may directly affect your ability to achieve a successful outcome. Contact Gregg S. Kamp, P.A., today (863) 646-3135.
We provide professional power of attorney, lawyer legal services in Lakeland, Tampa, Plant City, Winter Haven, Bartow, and surrounding areas. We urge you to be proactive in protecting your legal rights.