Four Important Elements To Your Durable Power Of Attorney
A durable power of attorney (DPOA) will give someone you trust the authority to manage your legal and financial affairs as you get older. If you are ever deemed incapacitated and cannot make decisions on your own, a DPOA allows the named individual to make legal and financial decisions for you. Unfortunately, a DPOA can fall into disrepair and when that is the case, it will not serve you as well as you had hoped. Below, our St. Petersburg advance directive lawyer explains four of the most important elements of your durable power of attorney.
You Should Update Your DPOA Every Ten Years
You should update your DPOA every ten years for many reasons. The first is that the laws change and when they do, it could significantly impact the validity of your current DPOA. Financial institutions may also not enforce an older DPOA as quickly as they would comply with a newer document which can ultimately delay having your bills paid and decisions made for you. Updating your DPOA every ten years will also give you the opportunity to review your named agent and determine whether you still want that person to act in that role. If the forms have changed, reviewing it every ten years will give you the chance to recognize that change and have it updated.
You Should Fully Trust Your Agent
It should go without saying that you should have complete trust in the person you name as your agent, or the person who will act on your behalf. This is such an important point, though, it bears mentioning. If the person is not trustworthy, they could essentially have the power to steal from you and make decisions that are not in your best interest.
An Experienced Advance Directive Lawyer Should Create Your DPOA
While you may be able to find an online form or know an attorney who does not practice in estate planning, you should always only trust an experienced advance directive lawyer to create your DPOA. This document is one of the most important in your entire estate plan, so it should only be left to a professional who is familiar with the laws and how to draft these documents.
Aging Couples Should Name Alternates to Each Other
It is natural for spouses to want to name each other as their first acting agents. After all, spouses often trust each other implicitly and want to care for each other. However, as couples age they should name someone else, such as their children, to serve as an alternate in case their spouse is no longer able to serve in this role. The reason for this is that as your spouse ages with you, your spouse may also no longer have the capacity to make sound decisions for you. For example, a person who suffers from dementia should not be making decisions for another person. As such, it is important to name someone else as an alternate agent in the event that your spouse is unable to serve.
Our Advance Directive Lawyers in St. Petersburg Can Help with Your DPOA
If you need to create a DPOA, our St. Petersburg advance directive lawyers at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP can draft a document that addresses all of your concerns and future wishes. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or connect with us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.