On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Friday February 02, 2021.
When an individual becomes incapacitated without any legalized contingency plans, the decisions and allocutions made regarding the individuals are left to the laws of the state and outside parties claiming to act in the individual’s best wishes. The end results can frequently conflict with the wishes of the incapacitated individual. Consulting with an estate lawyer before an incapacitation can occur can prevent this from happening; estate lawyers can work with individuals to create legally binding power of attorney documentation, guardianship designations, wills, trusts, and other legal processes that ensure that the individual and their property are treated in accordance with their wishes.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants a person the power to act on behalf of another person. The POA defines the decisions that the designated representative can resolve on the person’s behalf; such decisions often include medical care, finances, and personal property. Many states make legal distinctions between durable POAs for healthcare and durable POAs for finances, making the definition and division of assigned duties clearer. A POA can be revoked by the person granting permission as well as by a court issuing a nullification order. POAs are commonly used for individuals planning for contingencies due to severe mental or physical disabilities or incapacitations.
Guardianship is the legal process where a person is assigned to make decisions for another person who cannot communicate their decisions, lack the mental capacities to make sound decisions, or are provably susceptible to fraud or undue influence. Unlike a POA, a guardianship strips the covered person from many of their legal rights and can generally be overturned only by court orders. Guardianships are considered as last resort measures due to the restrictions of rights involved.The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers provides top-notch legal representation to clients in southern Florida. Our areas of legal practice include family law, personal injury, eminent domain, and estate planning and probate. Our firm has over 60 years of addressing our clients’ legal issues. Please feel free to contact us by filling out our online form or calling us at (386) 252-3000.