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Why would I need a durable power of attorney?

As you know, planning your estate and your loved ones' inheritance can be complicated in even the best of circumstances. What if you are concerned that a mental incapacity will compromise your decision-making abilities in the future? It may be wise for you and other Florida residents to consider a durable power of attorney, but what exactly is it?

We have explained powers of attorney previously in this blog. As FindLaw explains, a power of attorney gives someone else - usually called your attorney-in-fact or your agent - the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. Depending on whether you create a limited, general or medical power of attorney, each choice has different, specific purposes. "Durable" in each case means that the power of attorney will continue to be effective after you become mentally incapacitated.

As you can imagine, a durable power of attorney has the potential to protect your financial and personal interests if you are no longer able to make sound decisions on your own. It's never too soon to consider creating a durable power of attorney if you are worried about the possibility of becoming mentally incapacitated. Your family history might leave you at risk of developing a degenerative cognitive condition such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia, or you might suffer a sudden stroke or an accident that could affect your brain.

When you prepare for any eventuality, you can give yourself peace of mind. Since this topic is complex, this post should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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