Can a Durable Power of Attorney help avoid guardianship once I become incapacitated?
Having certain estate and end-of-life plan documents in place may be considered ‘lesser restrictive alternatives’ to guardianship if you become incapacitated. One possibility is the Durable Power of Attorney: if created by an individual before incapacitation, a Durable Power of Attorney appoints an agent or attorney-in-fact to make financial decisions and possibly even medical directives on behalf of the client (known as the “principal), even when the principal becomes incapacitated. If the individual does not have a power of attorney and a Florida circuit court adjudicates them incapacitated, then the court appoints a guardian, if there are no lesser restrictive alternatives. This guardian may be in charge of making financial and/or medical decisions on behalf of the ward until the point when the ward regains capacity. It is the responsibility of the guardian to make decisions guided in highest priority by the best interests of the ward in compliance with the Florida Guardianship Law.
For help drafting a Durable Power of Attorney or to discuss any questions you have about guardianship, please feel free to call Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. at (941) 906-1231.