In Florida a Durable Power of Attorney, is effective while the Principal is alive, and remains effective even in the event the Principal becomes mentally incompetent. This reduces the need for Guardianship proceedings in some cases. Our office answered the top six questions clients asked when executing a Florida Durable Power of Attorney. These tips are important, but this document can become quite complicated depending on the powers the Principal wishes to grant.
Who are the parties to a Florida Power of Attorney?
A Florida Power of Attorney involves a minimum of two parties known as the Principal and the Agent. The Principal is the person drafting the documents and the Agent, the person who will take on the responsibilities for the Principal.
What is a Florida Durable Power of Attorney?
In Florida, a Durable Power of Attorney is a document that grants an “Agent”, specific financial affairs on your behalf. This document is valid only while the Principal is alive and does not survive the Principal at death.
When is a Florida Durable Power of Attorney Necessary?
A Durable Power of Attorney is necessary when you are unable to care for your own financial affairs. Depending on your needs and the Estate Planning Attorney you work with, you may include Power of Attorney over Florida Land, Property and Health.
What Powers are granted under a Durable Power of Attorney Document?
Powers Granted under a Durable Power of Attorney include banking transactions, annuity transactions, insurance contracts, estate transactions, retirement & gift transactions. The power to sell and or maintain Real Estate and Investments may also be granted under a Florida Durable Power of Attorney. Furthermore, a Durable Power of Attorney may be drafted to include a health care directive, in the event the Principal is unable to make healthcare decisions.
What is required to execute a valid Durable Power of Attorney in Florida?
Florida law requires all powers granted under the Florida Durable Power of Attorney must be initialed for the document to be considered valid under the Florida Statutes. It is important to understand that each power granted needs to be initialed, and you do not have to grant all powers to the agent. The document must also be executed in front of two witnesses in Florida and a Notary public to be considered valid.
(Notes about Witnesses in Florida- Two witnesses are required for most documents to be executed in Florida in front of a Notary Public. The witnesses must be over the age of 18, and fully competent. In Florida the Notary Public and the Agent, should not serve as a Witness.
Can I appoint multiple agents under a Florida Durable Power of Attorney?
Yes, multiple agents can be appointed. It is important to make sure each agent has a copy of your executed documents.