Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature and Governor approved changes which completely rewrote Chapter 709 of the Florida Statutes on durable powers of attorney signed by individuals. The new law is effective on October 1, 2011, and significantly changes many requirements which we have summarized below.
Many existing powers of attorney rely on “Blanket Powers” which provide that the designated agent has the authority to do any act which the principal could do. Under the new law, if a principal wishes to convey any powers to the agent, the specific powers must be stated in the document as blanket powers will no longer be effective. Two exceptions include powers for banking authority and authority to conduct investment transactions, as explained below. We have added even more detailed provisions to our durable power of attorney out of a concern that third parties will scrutinize the powers and deny some requests by agents if the action is not specifically authorized in the document. Thus we encourage clients to sign a new more extensive durable power as a precaution.
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