Effective October 1, 2011, the legislature substantially revised Florida’s Durable Power of Attorney Statute. While durable powers of attorney executed before October 1, 2011 are still effective and valid, there are at least three reasons you may wish to consult with your attorney regarding your power of attorney.
- The new Statute includes special language related to bank and brokerage accounts which some banks and brokers may look for in the document itself when a power of attorney is presented by the Agent to access such accounts.
- If you have an existing power of attorney where your intention is to have joint power holders always act together, and not separately, you may wish to have the language of your power of attorney reviewed. The new statute presumes any joint power of attorney with joint Agents means either one of the Agents may act individually as well, unless the language clearly specifies that the joint Agents can only act together.
- If you are presently acting as an Agent under a power of attorney for an incapacitated person, you may wish to consult your attorney as to the additional responsibilities and restrictions now placed upon Agents particularly in preserving the principal’s estate plan, as well as the specific sanctions, restrictions and possible causes of action that can be brought against an Agent who does not properly exercise his or her fiduciary responsibilities.