Florida Durable Power of Attorney Form Preparation Services: We offer clerical assistance in the preparation and notarization of Florida General Durable Power of Attorney forms, a common legal document often requested by our customers, and a key component in most estate planning packages.
The Comfort and Assurance of a Durable Power of Attorney: Navigating Uncertainty with Grace
Life can take unpredictable turns, and sometimes, these unforeseen circumstances can be daunting and emotionally taxing. One effective way to alleviate some of this stress and uncertainty is by having a durable power of attorney (DPOA) in place.
This legal document allows you to entrust someone you trust – an agent – with the responsibility of managing your affairs should you become unable to do so yourself. This sense of preparedness can bring a profound peace of mind, knowing that someone you trust will be there to step in when you most need support.
A durable power of attorney can serve as a compassionate tool during challenging times, reducing confusion and potential conflict. It provides a clear directive on your wishes, helping to avoid disputes among loved ones about what you would have wanted. Not only does it cover financial matters, but it can also extend to important medical decisions. By removing the burden of difficult decisions from your loved ones’ shoulders, they can instead focus on supporting each other and reminiscing on cherished memories.
Having a durable power of attorney essentially weaves a safety net of tranquility around you and your loved ones. It’s about taking control of the future, planning wisely, and sowing seeds of comfort during times of need. It underscores the essence of care – looking out for each other even in the most challenging circumstances. It’s a testament to human resilience and the shared understanding that, together, we can navigate any storm that life may bring our way.
Understanding Power of Attorney and Its Types
The Florida Power of Attorney Act (Chapter 709 Florida Statutes), implemented on November 1, 2014, significantly altered the relevant laws, replacing the preceding legislation concerning power of attorney.
Power of Attorney encompasses multiple variants, and understanding their distinctions is vital. In Florida, a Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to assign someone else legal authority to act on your behalf, making decisions aligned with your best interests. This person is known as your attorney-in-fact or agent, while you are referred to as the principal. The scope of authority you grant to your agent can range from broad to specific, depending on your needs.
It’s crucial to understand that a power of attorney remains effective only while the principal (the person granting the power) is alive.
The Florida Durable Power of Attorney & Principal's Incapacity
A distinctive feature of the Florida Durable Power of Attorney is that it remains effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated due to illness or accident and is unable to make decisions. This is why it is “durable”. This variety is often chosen by those planning for potential incapacitation or extended periods away from home or family. A regular power of attorney ceases to be effective if the principal becomes incapacitated. Therefore, relying on a non-durable power of attorney could result in undesirable circumstances if you are dependent on the document to permit your agent to act in your stead when you are unable.
There are other variants of power of attorney documents, such as general, financial, medical, tax, and real estate power of attorney. If unsure about which is suitable for your circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a licensed attorney.
The Florida Bar publishes a consumer information pamphlet about durable power of attorney that you may find informative.
Select a Trusted Individual
Given that your attorney-in-fact will have significant authority over your affairs upon the execution of your Florida Power of Attorney document, it’s crucial to select someone you trust deeply. Usually, a close relative or friend is a good choice. It’s also prudent to designate an alternate agent, should your primary choice be unavailable.
Tailoring Power of Attorney: Specific or General Authority?
While our Florida Durable Power of Attorney document allows for the assignment of comprehensive authority, it also enables the allocation of specific powers. For instance, many clients seek only a Medical Power of Attorney. You can review the breakdown of each specific power in the Florida Durable Power of Attorney document by reading this page.
Our Service Offerings
Florida Document Specialists cater to your specific needs by preparing a General Florida Power of Attorney document based on the information you provide in our questionnaire. For local clients, the fully executed Florida Durable Power of Attorney document is available for execution and/or pickup at our office. For those outside our immediate vicinity, we provide delivery via email and/or U.S. Mail. Please note, due to our best practices, we don’t offer home or hospital visits. In such scenarios, we can still prepare the document, but the responsibility of securing notary services and witnesses lies with you.
Our flat fee for preparing a Florida General Durable Power of Attorney document is $125. Bundling your power of attorney with other document preparation services such as Last Will and Testament, Living Will (Advance Directives), Health Care Surrogacy, etc., qualifies for a discounted rate. Our service promise extends beyond generic forms or obsolete document packets and includes personalized, accessible support via telephone and email. We also offer special pricing for married couples.
Online Notarization of Florida Durable Power of Attorney Form
We offer an option for remote online notarization, allowing you to sign your document from the comfort of your home or office with the support of a certified online notary.
However, it’s important to note that specific regulations under Florida law necessitate those individuals in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, or those classified as vulnerable adults must have their witnesses physically present.
Therefore, while the remote online notarization option is available to these individuals, the use of remote witnesses is not permissible. The fee for our remote service, which includes document preparation, online notarization, and remote witnesses, is $180. You can place an order using this link.
Florida Power of Attorney - Special Powers Requirement and Remote Online Notarization
The state of Florida provides certain “super powers” to agents via a power of attorney. As detailed in Florida Statute 709.2202, these powers can only be exercised by the agent if the principal has either signed or initialed next to each specific power. The following are examples of these “super powers”:
- Creating an Inter Vivos Trust: This is a trust that the principal creates during their lifetime.
- Modifying, Revoking, or Terminating a Trust: The agent can only do this for a trust created by or for the principal, and only if the trust instrument explicitly allows the agent to make such changes.
- Making a Gift: Subject to specific conditions.
- Creating or Changing Rights of Survivorship: Rights of survivorship determine what happens to certain property upon the principal’s death.
- Creating or Changing a Beneficiary Designation: Beneficiary designations determine who receives the benefits of certain accounts or policies upon the principal’s death.
- Waiving the Principal’s Right to Survivor Benefits: This could include benefits from a joint and survivor annuity or a retirement plan.
- Disclaiming Property and Powers of Appointment: Disclaiming is essentially rejecting a gift or an inheritance.
In relation to notarization of these “super powers,” Florida allows for remote online notarization. However, it’s important to note that granting these powers through remote online notarization requires the physical presence of witnesses with the principal at the time of notarization. The utilization of remote witnesses is not permitted. This means that although the notarization can occur online, the witnesses must be physically present with the principal to validate the notarization and thus the conferment of these “super powers” to the agent.
It should be noted that most customers do not require “superpowers” when executing a durable power of attorney online. You are encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney if you have questions or concerns about your specific situation.
Beware of "Free" Power of Attorney Forms
You may come across websites advertising free Power of Attorney forms. Often, these services aren’t genuinely free, requiring payment after time invested. Others may offer out-of-date documents not approved for use in Florida. Our differentiating factor lies in our personalized, human approach. If you discover a clerical error or need modifications, we address it promptly at no additional charge. Plus, bundling your Florida Durable Power of Attorney with other document services like a will, ladybird deed, advance directives, or healthcare surrogacy form qualifies for a significant discount. Signification discounts are also available for married couples preparing documents together.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A Power of Attorney is a legal tool that allows you (the principal) to designate another individual (the agent) to manage your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.
A Durable Power of Attorney remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated, whereas a regular Power of Attorney typically ends if the principal becomes incapacitated.
A Power of Attorney in Florida can be notarized remotely. However, when it involves the granting of specific "super powers", the physical presence of witnesses with the principal is required during notarization.
A Durable Power of Attorney provides a level of preparedness, ensuring that someone you trust is authorized to handle your affairs if you become unable to do so.
A Durable Power of Attorney can minimize stress by providing clear instructions about your preferences, reducing potential disputes among loved ones, and letting them focus on providing mutual support.
Yes, a Durable Power of Attorney can encompass crucial healthcare decisions, alongside financial matters. However, most people also execute a document known as an "Advanced Directive" which is a two-part document containing a Living Will and a Designation of Healthcare Surrogacy.
Without a Durable Power of Attorney, it may lead to confusion or disagreements about handling your affairs. This may necessitate legal proceedings to appoint a guardian or conservator.
Yes, provided you are mentally competent, you can withdraw your Durable Power of Attorney at any given time.
A durable power of attorney grants vast powers, but your agent has a fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interest. They must manage your assets according to your directives in the Power of Attorney document. Always choose a trusted person as your agent (attorney-in-fact).
Yes, you can name multiple agents and specify if they need to make decisions together or if they can act individually.
The witness during the notarization of a Power of Attorney is there to confirm the identity of the principal and to ensure that they are signing the document willingly and independently.
A fiduciary duty refers to the legal obligation of the agent to act in the best interest of the principal, avoiding conflicts of interest and acting with honesty and integrity.
It’s crucial to select someone you trust, who understands your wishes, and who is capable of making responsible decisions. This could be a family member, a trusted friend, or a professional like a lawyer.
Yes, in most cases, a Power of Attorney can be used to manage digital assets, but it's important to specify this in the document.
No, all types of Power of Attorney, including durable ones, end upon the principal's death.
To revoke a Durable Power of Attorney, you generally need to issue a written notice of revocation to your agent and to any institutions or persons who have a copy of the Power of Attorney.
In Florida, a separate document called a Living Will is used for end-of-life decisions. However, you can designate your healthcare surrogate in your Durable Power of Attorney to make healthcare decisions when you are unable to do so.
A better way is to execute an "Advanced Directive" which includes your Living Will and a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate.
No, in Florida, a Power of Attorney does not need to be registered. However, if it involves real estate transactions, it must be recorded in the county where the property is located.
The agent's rights under a Power of Attorney are outlined in the document itself. They can vary widely but should always be executed with the principal's best interests in mind.
To ensure your Power of Attorney is legally binding, it must be written, signed, dated, and notarized. It's also advisable to have it reviewed by a licensed attorney.
Yes, an agent can be held liable if they act beyond their authority or do not fulfill their fiduciary duties.
A Durable Power of Attorney document should include the names of the principal and agent, the powers granted, when the powers begin, and when they end. It should also be signed, dated, and notarized.
If your primary agent is unable or unwilling to serve, the document can designate a successor agent to step in. If no successor agent is named, a new Power of Attorney will need to be created.
Yes, a Power of Attorney can be used to delegate business decisions and operations if you become unable to manage them yourself.