Florida Power of Attorney Act

The Florida Power of Attorney Act (“FPOA”), which became effective on October 1, 2011, made significant changes to Florida law concerning durable powers of attorney.  All Florida durable powers of attorney executed on or after October 1, 2011, must comply with new requirements.  The most important new requirement is that a power of attorney executed on or after the effective date must specifically state each power that is granted.  That is, a grant of the general power to do anything the principal could do, a provision popular in older powers of attorney, will not be effective for new powers of attorney.  In addition, if the principal wishes to grant an agent certain powers with regard to the principal’s estate plan, the principal must enumerate and initial those powers, as set forth in the FPOA.  Other changes to the law include the ability to name co-agents to act independently rather than jointly and the ability to name successor agents within the same document.  Powers of attorney executed before October 1, 2011, are still recognized under the FPOA, but agents’ actions will be interpreted under the new law.  There were numerous other changes in the law as well, including provisions governing the revocation of existing powers of attorney.  Principals who executed powers of attorney under the old law may wish to review them to determine whether new powers of attorney should be executed.

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