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Florida Power of Attorney law changes

01-01-2002 - The Durable Power of Attorney authorizes one or more individuals (your agents, also known as attorneys-in-fact) to conduct your financial, business and personal (but non-medical) affairs. This minimizes the chances of court interference in your affairs if you become incapacitated.  Every state has its own Power of Attorney law.

Until January, 2002, Florida recognized only an Immediate Durable Power of Attorney. This means that once the document is signed, your agent has the power to act on your behalf. Most people trust their agents implicitly and have confidence that their agents will act only if they become disabled. Nonetheless, some people are uncomfortable knowing that from a strict legal perspective, the agent can act once the document is signed. For such individuals, there is now another option available. After January 1, 2002, Florida will also recognize a Springing Power of Attorney, which authorizes an agent to act only at the point when disability actually occurs.

If you have an Immediate Power of Attorney or if you are not completely comfortable giving your agent the ability to act on your behalf while you are competent, you might wish to consider switching to the Springing Power of Attorney for your peace of mind.

If you do not have any Power of Attorney at present, contact The Karp Law Firm to determine what type of Power of Attorney is advisable for your circumstances.The document must list the specific powers you want your agent to exercise. We can also help you figure out the most appropriate person (s) to serve as your agent(s).

If you are a Florida resident and have a Power of Attorney executed in another state, or have a Florida Power of Attorney executed prior to Oct. 1, 1995, when the law also changed in certain respects, it is advisable to have the instrument reviewed. Contact the elder law attorneys of The Karp Law Firm for guidance.

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