With a life insurance policy, the owner can designate beneficiaries, and at the death of the owner, the policy pays the death benefits directly to the designated beneficiaries. The benefits are paid in accordance with the contractual terms of the policy. So long as a beneficiary is named, no probate is required and the person's Last Will & Testament does not come into play. This is one of the nice benefits of life insurance.
An essential document in any Florida estate plan should include a Durable Power of Attorney ("DPOA"). This document allows a person to designate another person or persons to act on their behalf in connection with personal, business and financial matters. A DPOA is critical in the event a person has a health crisis or becomes severely injured or incapacitated. Elderly persons particularly benefit by having a DPOA because their designated person, i.e. their agent, can act for them on matters that they can no longer do themselves. Without a DPOA, often a court-administered guardianship becomes the only alternative.
To say that a Power of Attorney ("POA") is "durable" means that the powers given in the instrument stay in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to manage his or her own affairs. When a POA in Florida is not durable, the powers cease if the principal becomes incapacitated--thereby requiring that a court-ordered guardianship be established. Most estate planning attorneys would advise to avoid guardianship if possible.
Estate planning lawyers often recommend that clients establish certain key documents. Among those are a Durable Power of Attorney ("POA"). This instrument allows a person to designate an agent to act for them in the event of incapacity.