A power of attorney (or POA) is a legal document giving someone else (called your agent, attorney in fact), the authority to make decisions and take action for you. To create a Florida power-of-attorney, you must be at least 18 years old and have witnesses.
This is what you need to know if you are considering creating a Florida power of attorney.
Types Florida power of attorney
Florida recognizes many types of POAs.
Designation of a health care surrogate: In other states, this is called a medical POA (or a healthcare POA). This allows your agent or health care proxy to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable.
General power of attorney/financial powers of attorney: This permits someone to make decisions about your finances and business affairs. Your agent may pay your bills or manage your banking.
Florida real property power of attorney: It is a limited POA which allows your agent to purchase or sell property on your behalf.
Florida Department of Revenue POA
Your agent can now access your taxpayer information to handle tax matters for you.
Florida Department of Revenue. Formulation DR-835. March 22, 2023.
A Florida power of attorney could also fall under one or more of the following subcategories:
Durable power to attorney
Your agent will still have authority if you are incapacitated by a durable power of attorney. Florida POAs don’t become durable by default. Your power of attorney must include the following words, or something similar, in order to be durable: “This durable power is not terminated by the principal’s subsequent incapacity, except as provided in chapter 709, Florida Statutes.”
. Talk to an experienced
Estate planning attorney
To ensure that the Florida law is complied with,
Limited or special power of attorney: This allows the agent to act on your behalf for a specific time or purpose, such taking care of your banking while your are away.
Power of attorney for springing:
This power of attorney is not effective if the principal, or its creator, becomes incapacitated. Florida has banned the use of springing powers of attorney. However, POAs that were made before Oct. 1, 2011, may still be valid.
Florida POA requirements
To create a Florida power of attorney, you must meet these requirements:
Must be at least 18 years of age.
The Florida court system interprets that you must have a sound mind.
The chosen agent or agents must be at minimum 18 years of age and sound in their minds.
Two adult witnesses must sign the POA. A notary public must also sign it. This may be different for military powers of attorney. You should ensure that your witnesses are not “interested”, which is to say they aren’t a family member, agent, doctor, or other caregiver.
(someone who will inherit from you something or claim on your assets upon your death)
How do you create a power-of- attorney in Florida
1. Make your official document. You can either work with an attorney or use the estate planning software. Choose your agent and indicate when they are available to act for you. This information should be included in your document.
2. Your POA must be signed with witnesses and the notary. Two witnesses must be present to sign a POA for designation of a health care surrogate. For any other POA, two witnesses must be present along with a notary public. This document must be signed by you, your witnesses, and (if necessary) your notary.
3. Keep your document safe with all your estate planning documents. Give your agent the original and a copy.
4. You should give a copy to all relevant parties. For example, you might want to give a copy of your POA to your financial institutions and medical care providers. You should file a copy of your POA if it involves real estate transactions. This office is in Florida known as the Clerk at the Circuit Court & Comptroller.
Questions frequently asked
What is the cost of a Florida power of attorney?
You can also download the forms free of charge from the Florida state website if you choose to DIY (but you will need to pay the notary fees). Estate planning software might be helpful if you are looking to create a POA online. Costs for an estate planning attorney to draft your POA vary by lawyer.
When does my Florida POA go into effect?
Your POA will only become effective if it is signed and witnessed.
Is there a tax impact on a power-of-attorney in Florida?
A Florida Department of Revenue power of Attorney should be used if you need someone to have access to your tax information and handle tax matters.
What happens to a POA in Florida?
A power of attorney in Florida is terminated when:
You revoke it.
The power of attorney has been granted.
You have not named an alternative agent and the agent’s authority has ended.
A court ends it.
If you are incapacitated or lose your power of attorney, it will not be permanent.
If I have a Florida power-of- attorney, is there a code of ethics that my agent must follow?
Yes. Yes. Your agent must act in your best interest and honor your wishes to the fullest extent.
What is the only thing my agent can do for me?
Yes. Your agent can’t do this under a Florida POA.
Vote for your candidate in a general election.
Make or cancel a will for yourself.
You can act as a trustee or conservator.
You can practice law (unless you are also a member the Florida Bar).
Sign an Official Declaration stating that you are aware of certain facts, such as witnessing a crime.