When beginning the process of estate planning, it is important to consider who you would like to act as your legal and financial voice should you become incapacitated. Whoever you choose receives the legal ability to speak on your behalf, so taking time to carefully consider who you feel will do the best job is essential.
According to Florida law, your agent must be “a natural person who is 18 years of age or older or a financial institution that has trust powers, has a place of business in this state, and is authorized to conduct trust business in this state.” With that in mind, here are some other things to contemplate as you make this important choice.
If possible, the person you choose to serve as your agent should live within the state of Florida. Not only will he or she be nearer to you should you require treatment at a health care facility, but a local agent will likely be more familiar with Florida’s power of attorney law.
Many people choose their spouses or children to be their agents. This is typically due to the type of relationship that they already have. A family member often has your best interests in mind, though that may not always be the case. Make sure you completely trust your family member if that is the route you take.
Agreeing to be an agent for a power of attorney can feel like a large burden for some people, so the person you choose should be willing to step up should you need them.
Assigning an agent for your power of attorney is an important part of estate planning. Take your time to make sure you feel good about your choice.