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How long does a durable financial power of attorney last?

Many individuals throughout Florida find that giving someone they trust a durable financial power of attorney is a very helpful way to plan for a period of time where a person may not have the mental acuity to make financial decisions on his or her own. However, whenever you consider handing over the reigns of your financial life to someone else, no matter how trustworthy he or she is or how qualified he or she is for the job, some apprehension is still normal.

Durable financial powers of attorney allow the appointed agent to act on the granting party's behalf, paying bills and taxes, taking care of household costs, investing assets and just about any other financial action you may think of. Of course, this amount of power is a great responsibility, so you must choose your agent very carefully.

Of course, you don't want your assets to simply evaporate mysteriously if and when you pass away. Your agent's power over your finances does not extend beyond your death, so he or she cannot simply act in your interests while you remain alive and then live the high-life on your dime after you pass away. Rather, he or she serves from the time he or she receives the appointment as your agent to the time of your death, at which point his or her powers of attorney dissolve.

If you believe that a financial power of attorney is a good fit for you, an experienced estate planning attorney in your area can help you in creating one. Professional legal counsel helps ensure that you have all the guidance you need to understand which estate planning tools are a strong fit for your needs and priorities.

Source: Findlaw, "Durable Financial Power of Attorney," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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