Florida Power of Attorney Changes

  • Originally published March 22, 2012 , last updated December 23, 2014

Protecting the elderly from abuse is a growing concern and many states are taking steps to prevent it. The state of Florida recently enacted legislation that affects one of the basic estate planning documents — the power of attorney. These changes apply to powers of attorney signed after September 30, 2011. Even though these changes only apply to the state of Florida, it might serve as a blueprint for future action by other states.

Some of the highlights of the act include:

  • Every power that the agent may exercise must be specified in the document.
  • Each separate power must be initialed by the agent
  • Springing powers of attorney are no longer valid.
  • Witnesses and notary signatures are required.
  • Compensation for those acting as an agent is severely limited.
  • A military power of attorney is allowed.

The state of Florida Bar Association has issued a pamphlet that outlines the provisions of this act. It is available at www.floridabar.org. We can see once again that estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project. It is not only important to work with legal and tax professionals, but to work with those professionals who keep current and are aware of the latest updates and changes.