NEW DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY STATUTE

The Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 670 which significantly revises Chapter 709, Florida Statutes for Durable Powers of Attorney (DPOA). The changes were effective on October 1, 2011. A DPOA is a legal document in which the principal appoints an agent to legally act on their behalf.  DPOA’s signed after the October 1, 2011 can no longer be “springing,” meaning the DPOA takes effect immediately once signed and not when the principal becomes incapacitated. The statute requires the principal to initial or sign beside certain powers that are given to their agent, such as the power to make gifts or to create a revocable trust. A third party has the power to request an opinion of counsel that explains the DPOA is legally effective. Any DPOA that was validly executed under Florida law before the effective date will remain valid.

Advice: There are many changes to the DPOA statute and this is to notify you that you may wish to do new DPOAs as the banks and financial institutions may require the new DPOAs even though the statute specifically validates DPOAs executed before October 1, 2011.

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