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New Florida Power of Attorney Law

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2011 | Estate Planning, Firm News

Effective October 1st, 2011, there is a new Power of Attorney statute in Florida.  There are significant and important changes.  The “durable family power of attorney” is a vital part of your estate planning arsenal, so be sure you consult with an attorney who is aware of these changes in the law.  The new law is summarized below.

The new law conforms Florida’s power of attorney law under Chapter 709, Florida Statutes, to the Uniform Power of Attorney Act adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, with some modifications to achieve greater consistency among state laws.

The revised power of attorney law applies only to powers of attorney created by an individual. Powers of attorney validly executed under Florida law before October 1, 2011 will remain valid. If the power of attorney is durable (a power of attorney that is not terminated by the principal’s incapacity) or springing (a power of attorney that does not take effect until the principal loses capacity), it will remain durable or springing under the new law. To be effective in Florida, powers created on or after October 1, 2011 must be exercisable as of the time they are executed. The meaning and effectiveness of a power of attorney are governed by ch. 709, part II, F.S. A power of attorney executed in another state that does not comply with the execution requirement of this part (ch. 709, part II, F.S.) is valid in Florida only if the execution of the power of attorney complied with the law of the state of execution.

Powers of attorney that are executed after October 1, 2011 may not create springing powers, with an exception for military powers. Qualified agents as defined in the bill are entitled to reasonable compensation. The revised power of attorney law provides requirements for written notice with special notice for financial institutions, and special rules for banking and investment transactions; provides default duties for the agent; creates co-agents and successor agents; prohibits blanket or default powers granted to an agent; prescribes requirements for the rejection by a third person of a power of attorney; prescribes requirements for an agent’s liability under a power of attorney; and provides grounds for judicial relief and dealing with conflicts of interest.

Let us know if we can help with your estate plan or planning for your parent(s) or loved one.