In addition to helping you prepare an advance directive in Florida, an estate attorney in Fort Myers can also help with other documents that you should have in place while you're of sound mind. You should contact an attorney soon if you don't already have a will and advance directive.
The other kind of advance directive in Florida, durable power of attorney, allows you to designate someone to make decisions regarding your finances, legal matters, and so forth.
The appointed individual will be allowed to:
- open your mail;
- pay your bills; and
- run your business.
There are 2 kinds of power of attorney. The first type becomes effective immediately once it's signed. The second type, called a springing durable power of attorney, becomes effective when you fall into a coma, are suffering with dementia, or are otherwise incapacitated.
Additional Important Documents for Your Estate Planning
Since estate planning involves planning for disability, you can benefit by having a health care surrogate. This has similarities to durable power of attorney, but it involves medical decisions, not end-of-life decisions.
You can appoint someone to make health care decisions for you when you're unable to do so. This document will come into effect only when you're incapacitated. For example, if you were comatose and gangrene developed in your toes, your health care surrogate would need to make the decision whether to operate.
Last but not least, when you do die it's imperative that you have a last will and testament to explain the distribution of your assets: where and how they'll be distributed, who will be your estate's personal representative, and who will be the guardian of any minor children you may have. If you don't have a will, Florida law will dictate how your assets will be distributed.
Although it may seem disturbing to prepare a will and an advance directive in Florida, you should know that without them your wishes may not be carried out. Once you prepare these documents with the assistance of an estate attorney in Fort Myers, you can rest assured that you and your estate can be handled with dignity.
Help from an Estate Attorney in Fort Myers is Just a Phone Call Away
Fort Myers estate attorney Matthew A. Linde understands firsthand the importance of careful estate planning and the complexities of financial legal matters, such as probate, tax litigation and guardianship. For help with your estate planning concerns, contact our Fort Myers office to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a professional who can answer your questions - 239-939-7100 or 844-764-5492.