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Brevard County Florida

Florida Power Of Attorney: The Complete Guide

December 17, 2021

Florida Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that comes in handy when you are unable to personally handle your legal and financial proceedings. The Florida power of attorney (or POA) allows you to designate an agent who can legally act on your behalf. Although a POA is primarily used to address financial matters, your agent can also make important health care decisions for you.

The Florida POA is governed by the Florida Statutes, Part II: Chapter 709.  The law even allows the principal (you) to opt for a durable power of attorney in case you become incapacitated. This means that your Florida power of attorney remains applicable during the toughest of times, ensuring that you won’t need to depend on a court-appointed guardian to make crucial decisions for you.

There are different types of Florida POA, and different requirements depending on what type of power of attorney you need.   This complete guide will ensure you are well-informed about creating a POA.

Different Types of Florida Power of Attorneys

  • General Power of Attorney

Through a general power of attorney, your agent receives broad authority over your essential transactions. They can carry out financial decisions like buying or selling real estate, managing your assets, banking, handling governmental matters, and other important decisions.

  • Durable Power of Attorney

As mentioned above, you can also opt for a durable power of attorney in Florida.  This document allows your selected agent the authority to stay active even after you have suffered from an incapacity of some sort. Your durable power of attorney can be made as general or limited (discussed in detail below). However, for your Florida POA to be effective, it needs to state the following:

“This durable power of attorney is not terminated by subsequent incapacity of the principal except as provided in Chapter 709, Florida Statutes.”

  • Limited Power of Attorney

Lastly, we have the limited power of attorney. Also called the special Florida POA, this document is used when you wish to hand over authority to your agent for selected purposes or a specified task only. Unlike a general POA that allows your agent broad control, the limited power of attorney is only meant for certain transactions and is valid for a certain time frame. 

It is mostly used when people are traveling out of the country or expect to be unavailable for some time and need a trusted agent to see their transactions to completion.

How to Create a Power of Attorney in Florida

Ensure You are Capable Make a Valid  Florida Power of Attorney

To create a power of attorney in Florida, you must be competent to enter it, otherwise known as having capacity. In this context, capacity refers to having the mental capacity to fully comprehend the decision you’re making. It should be clear that you understand what a POA is, how it works, and the level of authority you’re handing over to your agent. 

Qualifications that Your Agent Must Have

While you’re free to choose any trusted individual to serve as your agent as per the Florida power of attorney, there are some qualifications that they should meet. As per Section 709.2105, your agent should be 18 years or older. You can also make a financial institution your agent, as long as it has trust powers, is a certified place of business within the state, and is authorized to carry out trust business transactions in Florida.

Apart from the legal qualifications, you should also make sure that your agent is someone who understands your wishes and intent. They should have respect for your financial choices and a channel of open communication to ensure they make decisions in your best interest.

What Duties Does a Florida POA Have?

Under the Florida POA, your agent is required to act within the scope of authority granted by you. It is their legal duty to maintain a fiduciary relationship with you and act in good faith. The agent is required to fulfill your wishes, regardless of their personal opinion. 

In case of a breach or if your agent acts against your best interests, they will be liable to you or your next of kin for the amount needed to restore your assets or undo the damage done. The law requires them to reimburse any property or other assets sold without your clearance and pay for the attorney’s fee in case you or your successors take them to court.

Get Expert Legal Representation in Florida

While having a Florida POA isn’t strictly required as per the law, it can make your life and all your legal proceedings significantly easier. A power of attorney is a useful tool that lets you engage in different financial transactions and continue your responsibilities, even if you become incapacitated or just aren’t physically present to sign documents.

Permitting another person to perform legal acts on your behalf ensures that there are no interruptions in work despite your absence. The Florida POA will clear your agent to handle your financial matters, care for your children and other listed kin and even make health care decisions if needed. However, you need to be extremely careful when selecting an agent. It should be a person you can fully trust with your finances and health care. You also need to make sure the document is drafted well by an expert in Florida law to safeguard your assets and make the most of the POA.

Legal Eagles offer attorneys who are experienced in creating Florida power of attorney documents. We will help you navigate Florida’s law and ensure that you make the best possible decisions that align with your financial interests. We can take care of your wills and probate while also designing an effective POA that safeguards your assets and takes the best care of your family!  Contact us today to discuss how we can help you prepare a Florida power of attorney.

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