Having a Power Of Attorney is a valuable, even necessary, investment. It provides you with a way to control decisions even when you cannot make those decisions for yourself. But how old is your Florida Power Of Attorney or POA? Does it expire? If you have one in place, there are a few key things you should know about it before you assume that it fits your expectations and goals.
At The Siegel Law Group, our Estate Planning Attorneys in South Florida can help you ensure your POA is up to date and accurate – no matter how old it is. This is key in protecting your assets long-term and ensuring the right party is given the legal ability to make those decisions on your behalf. If you do not have one, or you have not updated yours in some time, contact our team to handle the updates needed.
Does A Florida Power of Attorney Expire?
Typically, POAs do not have an end date, meaning they do not expire outright. Most of the time, they will expire after the principal dies. The ultimate goal of these legally binding documents is to put in place a person who can make decisions for the principal if they cannot do so themselves. Having this in place, no matter how young or old you are or how many or how few assets you have, is powerful.
Has Your Life Changed Since You Put a POA in Place?
The real concern here is recognizing that if your life has changed in any way since you created the POA, you may benefit from updating this document. We recommend having our legal team go through your Estate Plan at least one time a year to ensure nothing has changed that could alter your goals or objectives. Some key changes that may impact these decisions include:
If you just were divorced, the party named on your POA (which is often your spouse) may no longer be the person you want controlling your financial decisions).
Even if your marriage is not over in the eyes of the law, your personal wishes on the party that should decide on your health and well-being may have changed.
By contrast, if you have an old POA in place that names your sibling as POA and you just were married, updating this to your spouse could help to make decision-making easier if there is a need to do so.
- Spouse’s death:
If you were married, but your spouse died, and your POA is not in place or names that spouse as your POA, it is time to update that information to reflect another party that you wish to provide this right.
- Relationships changes:
Ultimately, you can name anyone you wish as your POA. If your relationship with your existing POA changes, you have the legal right and obligation to make changes to better meet your new expectations and needs.
Make sure your old POA does not leave someone in charge of important and even life-changing decisions if you no longer want that person to have the legal authority to act on your behalf. Life changes, relationships change, and, in some cases, you need to make updates to your POA to reflect this.
What Are the Rules for POAs in Florida?
In 2011, Florida POA rules were updated. There are now numerous requirements that must be met. Some of the most significant that our Estate Planning Attorney can discuss with you include the following:
- Out-of-state POAs are recognized.
- All Power Of Attorneys go into effect immediately. There is no springing Power Of Attorney that puts the POA in place at a specific later date, as there was under the previous law.
- There are now compensation requirements for Qualified agents, but there are restrictions on who may qualify as a Qualified agent.
- The powers granted under the POA must be listed specifically.
- Two witnesses and a notary are necessary.
If your POA has not been updated since 2011, we recommend allowing our Boca Raton Power of Attorney Lawyers to review your existing document, update it as necessary and move forward.
Most Common Types of Powers of Attorney in Florida
A Power of Attorney in Florida is a legally recognized document that provides very specific legal authority over the principal for the named party. However, there are several types of Florida POAs, and each one has different and specific rules. The following are some of the most common POAs.
- General Power Of Attorney:
This form gives a person the ability to make financial decisions and take actions to manage business affairs for the named principal. They may be able to pay bills, for example, if you cannot do so.
- Limited or Special Power Of Attorney:
This type of POA gives the party the ability to conduct a specific act, such as selling a home for the principal or managing a specific transaction for them.
- Durable Power Of Attorney:
This form of POA gives a person the ability to make decisions on a much larger scale, including legal decisions, business affairs, and financial matters.
- Power of Attorney for Health Care
A Power Of Attorney for health care, or medical Power Of Attorney, allows you to name someone you trust to oversee your care and make medical decisions for you if you become unable.
Who Can Act As Your Power Of Attorney?
In Florida, anyone you trust can act as your Power of Attorney. This person will be authorized to make decisions on your behalf, such as healthcare or financial matters, if you become unable to do so yourself. The person you choose should be someone you trust to always make decisions that are in your best interest.
Some potential candidates to act as your Power Of Attorney include:
- Your children when they’re adults
- Your siblings
- Wife or Husband
- Life-long friends
- Any other trustworthy adult you choose
How to Set Up a POA in Florida
To establish a POA in Florida, meet with our Estate Planning Attorney to discuss your needs. It is important to consider what you wish to give another party legal authority to do, such as making medical decisions for you, handling legal affairs on your behalf, or, in some cases, handling any decision. Once you know what specific rules you wish to put in place, our Attorneys can help you create the form, sign it, and notarize it.
Call THE South Florida POA and Estate Planning Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group
How old is your Power Of Attorney? If it has not been updated in some time – especially since 2011 – we encourage you to give us a call now to do so. At The Siegel Law Group, our team is always ready to help you. Call our office at 561-576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.