Advance directives are a critical element of estate planning and asset protection. When properly prepared, these documents allow a designated person to legally step in on behalf of a loved one. This may be necessary to prevent abuse by others, to protect the person from him or herself or simply to take over management of the person's affairs. Advance directives can also avoid the expense and family conflicts of guardianship proceedings.
The Brandon Family Law Center, LLC, provides sophisticated counsel for powers of attorney and other advance directives. Our experienced attorneys practice estate planning and elder law, including advance directives for LGBT clients.
Anticipating Conflicts Through Advance Directives
There are several types of advance directives, each with an important purpose. These documents must be individualized and carefully written to provide clear direction and clear authority in the event that the person is incapacitated. Our legal team can knowledgeably walk you through the specifics of:
- Durable power of attorney — This appoints a person of your choosing to handle your legal and financial affairs in your stead. Power of attorney allows the person to pay your bills, manage your investments, sell your property, sign contracts and conduct other business.
- Medical power of attorney — This enables a designated loved one, or "health care proxy," to make medical decisions on your behalf, from surgery and heroic measures to pain management or nursing home placement.
- A living will — This specifies your wishes for medical providers and family members regarding resuscitation, artificial life support and end-of-life care.
- Guardianship designation — This appoints a person, subject to court approval, to step in as guardian of your minor child, adult disabled child or disabled spouse/partner.
If one person — even the most loving family member — makes decisions for another individual without being given that legal authority, that person may be committing a crime. For this reason, it is important to obtain clear powers of attorney, with the help of an experienced attorney. Your advance directives can give carte blanche control to a trusted person or they can be limited in scope or duration. We will help you make those case-by-case choices for your peace of mind.
Tampa Lawyers For Advance Directives
You cannot simply buy a power of attorney document and sign it on the bottom. We will go over the details with you to ensure that the powers are clearly stated and strong enough to be useful, but not so broad that they encourage overstepping, fraud or depletion of your estate.
Powers of attorney are not expensive, and they go a long way toward helping caregivers to give care. We serve Hillsborough County and surrounding Florida communities. Call 813-438-7119 or toll free 800-769-0129, or email us today.