Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

What Happens If You Do Not Have A Power Of Attorney?


Your Last Will and Testament is the foundation of any estate plan, but there are many other documents you should consider drafting so your best interests are protected. While some of these are not effective until you pass away, others come into effect during your lifetime. In Florida, a durable power of attorney will address who makes decisions regarding your real estate and other personal property in the event that you become incapacitated. Your power of attorney will name an agent who can manage this property according to your instructions.

Your power of attorney gives you the opportunity to plan ahead and designate someone to act on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. If you do not prepare for this type of event, you may not understand the implications it may have on your life and the effects on your loved ones. Below, our St. Petersburg advance directive lawyer outlines the consequences of not having a POA.

Court Will Be Necessary 

If you are ever unable to manage your assets and make decisions for yourself, there will be no one who has the legal authority to handle these matters. Your family members will have to appear in court and petition a judge to appoint a legal guardian for you. Depending on the court’s schedule, this can take several weeks. While they wait for court approval, your home and other personal property are not maintained. Additionally, the legal costs and filing fees of court proceedings are high. This can be avoided if you sign a durable power of attorney document while you have the capacity to do so.

The Potential for Disputes to Arise 

In most cases, the courts will appoint a guardian within a few weeks, but this could take much longer if a dispute arises. If many interested parties want to act as guardian, there is an even greater chance of a dispute arising. Typically, the court will schedule a hearing to determine which petition should be approved and ultimately, who should act as your agent. This will increase the time it takes for a guardian to be appointed and it could even take many months.

You Will Have No Say 

Even if a guardian is appointed to manage your property, this person will not have any direction from you. Guardians typically have general authority over their ward. However, with a power of attorney, you can outline specific instructions about how you want your assets and other affairs managed. With a power of attorney you can allow or require your agent to sell property if necessary to pay for your medical care, make investments, and retain the help of financial experts who can help with high net worth estates.

Our Advance Directive Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Draft Your POA 

Drafting a power of attorney is important, but it is also only effective if it is drafted properly. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, our St. Petersburg advance directive lawyer will make sure all of your estate planning documents are executed properly so you and your future is protected. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to get the legal help you need.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn