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New Durable Power of Attorney Law – Effective October 1st, 2011

The new Durable Power of Attorney law which became effective October 1, 2011 contains many sweeping changes that are intended to conform Florida’s law to the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. A few of these changes include:

  • Requiring that specific types of financial authority delegated to an agent (i.e. gifting; create or change a beneficiary designation; disclaim property) be specifically stated and initialed in the document.
  • Authorizing a ‘qualified agent’ (i.e. financial institution; attorney, Florida licensed CPA; principal’s spouse and relatives) to be compensated for services rendered;
  • Requiring powers of attorney executed on or after October 1, 2011 to be exercisable immediately upon execution.
  • Terminating an agent’s authority upon the filing of an action for the dissolution, legal separation or annulment of the marriage of the agent to the principal.

A Springing Durable Power of Attorney is one that is effective only upon the principal becoming incapacitated (that determination is made by the treating physician who then signs an affidavit). Springing Durable Powers of Attorney signed before October 1, 2011 are grandfathered under the new law and will remain springing.

Under the new law a photocopy or electronically transmitted copy of the original is as effective as the original. Consider an escrow arrangement with the drafting attorney.

Our firm handles estate and incapacity planning. We save families thousands of dollars by creating legal estate & incapacity planning documents that avoid guardianships or avoid probate upon their demise.

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