While assembling your estate planning strategy, you learn about “power of attorney.” Rather than putting off learning about and creating your power of attorney, handle the task now.

The Florida Bar explains the role of the power of attorney and the importance of drafting the legal document. Do right by yourself with this segment of estate planning.

The definition

Your power of attorney is a document that names an individual to handle your finances and other matters on your behalf. That person becomes your “agent.” You essentially hand over the keys to your financial kingdom in terms of your assets, bank accounts and any other authorized items to your agent. This is why you should create a proper power of attorney now rather than later.

The options

“Limited power of attorney” and “durable power of attorney” are two types of power of attorney. An agent for a limited power of attorney has permission to carry out a specific task, such as selling property outside of Florida. With a durable power of attorney, should you become incapacitated, the document retains its legal power. For instance, if dementia or Alzheimer’s incapacitates your mental faculties, having a durable power of attorney in place allows your agent to handle your finances and similar matters.

The assistants

Power of attorney agents can turn to such professionals as real estate brokers, financial advisors and legal professionals to help with agent responsibilities. No matter who aids the agent, she or he cannot transfer power of attorney legal powers to anyone else. Additionally, the agent must work with professionals in your best interests, known as a fiduciary duty.

Do you know who could act as the agent for your power of attorney? Get your affairs in order now, as you never know when an emergency may befall you.