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It is not uncommon for Florida residents, as they grow older, to experience a decrease in cognitive function. This decrease may be minor and include nothing more than forgetting the occasional tidbit of information, or it can be more severe and entail forgetting major events, appointments and important dates, such as your birthday. Unfortunately for many elderly individuals, mild cognitive decline is an indicator of a more serious cognitive issue and eventually, you may feel increasingly overwhelmed by planning for your future and making sound financial decisions. Because it is possible you might reach this point that you should consider electing a durable financial power of attorney.

According to FindLaw, a durable financial power of attorney is a legal way for you to pass off the management of your finances to someone you trust in the event that you become incapacitated or unwilling to make sound decisions yourself. In short, this legal document grants someone else legal authority to act on your behalf regarding financial matters.

When drafting your durable POA, you need to think about how much or how little power you want to entrust to your agent. A great way to do this is by determining what types of tasks you want your power of attorney to perform. Some common responsibilities of POAs include paying the bills, paying taxes and managing medical expenses. You may also want to consider granting your agent access to your financial accounts and allowing him or her to invest your money and transfer and sell your assets on your behalf. If you have significant real estate, consider granting your POA the power to manage your properties. Some individuals allow their agents to collect retirement benefits, purchase insurance and operate small businesses on their behalves.

Your agent must act in your best interests and within the power you grant to him or her. For this reason, it is essential you are thorough in your description of responsibilities and only entrust tasks you feel comfortable with him or her completing.

The information shared here is not meant to act as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.