While you are planning for disposition of your property at death, you may want to consider a number of other personal objectives that can be accomplished through related documents.
You may designate a friend or relative to act on your behalf under a power-of-attorney, which can be specific and limited to a certain task or transaction or may be broad and general and allow the power holder to do almost anything. All states provide that a properly drafted power-of-attorney will be effective even after the disability or incapacity of the person who gave the power, and indeed that has become a primary reason to create powers-of-attorney. The power-of-attorney can also prevent problems that arise when the name of the other person is added as a joint tenant (or other form of co-owner) to a bank account or other asset as a matter of convenience.
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Michael L. Cahill is an attorney and certified public accountant providing estate planning, probate and tax services in the St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater and Florida gulf beach communities.