Does a Durable Power of Attorney Last Forever?
Simply stated: Nothing Lasts Forever
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney is a document that grants a designated person to manage your financial affairs either immediately or in the future should you become unable to do so yourself. The designated person will have the power to buy and sell real estate, open and close bank accounts, file tax returns, etc. The word 'durable' allows the power to continue even after you become incapacitated.
Beware: A durable power of attorney is only effective while the principal is alive. Once that person dies, the durable power of attorney dies with them. Therefore, you will not be able to use a Durable Power of Attorney to sell the home of a deceased person nor are you able to close financial accounts owned by the decedent.
What document is used once you die?
Once someone dies, it is important to have a Last Will & Testament. The Will names someone who can act as the personal representative/executor of the decedent's estate who will be responsible for administering the estate. After debts are paid, the personal representative is also responsible for distributing assets to the beneficiaries listed in the will.
So if you are thinking of planning ahead and preparing your estate planning portfolio, make sure it includes documents that will be used while you are alive as well as when you are gone. Everyone should have a Durable Power of Attorney as well as a Last Will & Testament.
If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs. You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.