How to Get Financial Power of Attorney in Florida: A Guide

A durable power of attorney in Florida lets someone handle your money if you can’t.

This person called your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” can do things like deposit your checks, file your taxes, or sell your home for you.

Discover how to get a financial power of attorney in Florida with this comprehensive guide.

Learn the steps to appoint an agent and manage your finances effectively.

An Image of Financial POA
How to Get a Financial Power of Attorney in Florida. Photo Source (Freepik)

What Kinds of Powers of Attorney Can You Get in Florida?

In Florida, you can make two types of POAs:

  1. A power of attorney for finances lets someone handle your money and business matters.
  2. A power of attorney for health care allows someone to make medical decisions for you.

These POAs stay effective even if you can’t make decisions.

It’s a good idea to have these documents in case of unexpected events.

What Legal Requirements Does a Financial POA in Florida Have?

For your POA to be valid in Florida, it must meet these requirements:

  1. Mental Capacity: The person creating the POA must be of sound mind. The exact requirements are interpreted by Florida courts. If you’re unsure, consult an estate planning attorney.
  2. Witnessing and Notarizing: The POA must be witnessed by two people and signed before a notary public.

How to Make a Financial Power of Attorney in Florida

Here’s how to make a financial power of attorney in Florida:

  1. Create the POA using software or an attorney. You can get forms from private companies or use software. A lawyer can also help. You’ll grant your agent powers or select specific ones for them.
  2. Sign the POA in front of a notary public and two witnesses. Notarization is needed, and two witnesses must watch you sign and sign the document too.
  3. Keep the original POA in a safe place your family can access.
  4. Give a copy to your agent.
  5. File a copy with the land records office if it involves real estate.
  6. Consider giving a copy to financial institutions your agent might deal with.

Who Can be Named as an Attorney-in-fact (agent) in Florida?

In Florida, you can choose any capable adult to be your agent.

Think about if they’re trustworthy and where they live. It’s usually better to have just one agent to avoid problems.

Having a backup agent, called a “successor,” is a good idea in case your first choice can’t help you.

When Does My Durable Financial POA Become Effective?

In Florida, your durable financial power of attorney usually starts working as soon as you sign it in front of witnesses and a notary public, unless you’ve said otherwise in the document.

Florida doesn’t generally allow “springing” powers of attorney, which only start working after a certain condition is met.

But if you made a springing POA before October 1, 2011, it’s still valid.

When Does My Financial Power of Attorney Expire?

Your power of attorney in Florida ends:

  1. When you die.
  2. If you cancel it, which you can do if you’re able to make decisions.
  3. If no one is available to help, so it’s good to have a backup.
  4. If a court says it’s not valid, which is rare but can happen if the court decides you weren’t able to make decisions when you signed it, or if there was fraud or pressure.
  5. If you named your ex-spouse as your agent and you get divorced, their authority is suspended.

Conclusion

A durable power of attorney in Florida lets someone handle your money if you can’t.

You can make this document using software, forms, or with a lawyer’s help.

It must be signed in front of a notary public and two witnesses.

The document stays effective even if you can’t make decisions.

It’s important to choose a trustworthy person and think about having a backup.

The power of attorney ends when you die, if you cancel it, if no one is available to help, if a court says it’s not valid, or if you named your ex-spouse as your agent and you get divorced.