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When Is Durable Power of Attorney Effective in Florida?

Durable powers of attorney are legal arrangements that give authority of those named to make financial decisions for another person.

What Does Durable Power of Attorney Include?

In Florida, the agent of the power of attorney has the authority to sign documents, such as tax returns, effective immediately when the Power of Attorney is signed. This includes buying and selling personal property or real estate, applying for government benefits, and handling lawsuits, banking, and investments.

Someone receives durable power of attorney when named on a power of attorney document. Unlike other types of power of attorney, durable power of attorney is effective, even if the principal is mentally incapacitated.

Florida residents can also establish backup agents of durable power of attorney if the original agent cannot complete his or her duties. It is generally recommended that these agents act together, rather than separately.

When Does Durable Power of Attorney Become Effective?

In Florida, durable power of attorney becomes immediately effective once the principal signs the necessary document in the presence of two adult witnesses and a notary. The principal must also be a competent adult to assign power of attorney.

In other states, it is possible to establish a “springing” power of attorney. This process involves establishing in the document that the principal must become incapacitated before the durable power of attorney comes into effect. As of 2011, Florida law no longer allows for the power of attorney to be “springing.” Instead, it must go immediately into effect. Otherwise, the power of attorney is invalid.

Establishing durable power of attorney can be very helpful tool in an emergency. However, these documents are complex and require proper attention to be legally viable – otherwise, there may be a legal deficiency that makes the document invalid. Our estate planning lawyers can help you establish durable power of attorney correctly, preventing complications in the future.

Sources:

http://www.elderlawlexington.com/news/floridasnewdurablepowerofattorneylaweffective1012011.html

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/florida-law/florida-durable-power-of-attorney-laws.html

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-is-a-durable-power-of-attorney