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Get a Florida power of attorney in minutes

Choose someone to act in financial matters on your behalf by executing a power of attorney (POA). FindLaw’s guided process means you can complete your own POA quickly and easily.

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Power of Attorney

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A do-it-yourself power of attorney form that’s easy to personalize

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What’s included:
  • Step-by-step guided process
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  • Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
  • Free changes and revisions to your will for up to one full year after purchase

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All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

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What’s included:
  • Last will and testament
  • Health care directive
  • Power of attorney
  • Free HIPAA release form
  • A comprehensive plan — for less
  • Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

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What’s included:
    • Estate planning attorney available for legal questions
    • Comprehensive attorney review of completed documents
  • Create a comprehensive estate plan for less:
    • Last will and testament
    • Health care directive
    • Power of attorney
  • Free revisions for one full year after purchase
  • Easy process guides you step-by-step
  • Compliant with your state’s laws 

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Do I really need a power of attorney in Florida?

If you want to give another person the legal authority to make financial decisions on your behalf, you must have a power of attorney.

Who will make  financial decisions for you if you were in an accident and lost the capacity to act on your own? A power of attorney allows someone else to care for you and manage your finances when you cannot due to your physical or mental health. If you do not have one and become incapacitated, a court will intervene and appoint a guardian.

Powers of attorney can also be helpful when you are healthy. You can use a power of attorney to allow someone with expertise to manage your property or handle a specific transaction on your behalf.

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Written by:

Jeff Burtka, Esq.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Bridget Molitor, J.D.

Managing Editor

How it works

The process takes less than an hour, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Indicate who your agent will be and what authority you want them to have

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary

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How to get a power of attorney

When making a power of attorney, you should follow these steps:

Understand how a POA works in Florida

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person (the principal) to give another person (the agent) the legal authority to act on the principal’s behalf. When the agent acts under a power of attorney, their actions are legally binding on the principal.

An agent is sometimes called an attorney in fact. Despite the terms power of attorney and attorney in fact, an agent does not need to be a lawyer. You can give your agent broad powers or limited powers. Florida has several types of powers of attorney, and a similar document for health care decisions called a designation of health care surrogate.

Decide what powers you want to give your agent

Think about why you want a power of attorney. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Do you need someone to have broad powers to manage your finances and property?
  • Do you want someone to handle a specific business transaction for you?
  • Do you want your agent’s authority to stay effective or terminate when you are incapacitated?

Pick your agent

Your agent should be someone you trust to make decisions in your best interests.

You also can create multiple powers of attorneys with different agents. For example, you might create a power of attorney for a friend to sell your car and another power of attorney for an adult child to use your bank account on your behalf.

You can designate two or more people as co-agents in the same power of attorney. If you select co-agents, they can act independently without the other agents’ agreement unless your power of attorney states otherwise. You should always pick successor agents in case your first choice is unable, unavailable, or unwilling to serve.

Before you designate an agent (or their successors), let them know you are listing them and ensure they are willing to serve.

Fill out your form and sign it with the correct number of witnesses

When filling out your form, make sure you clearly list the powers you want your agent to have.

In Florida, you need two adult witnesses to sign a power of attorney. A notary public also must acknowledge and sign a power of attorney (the notary can be one of your two witnesses).

Although the law does not prohibit your agent from being a witness, it is wise not to use your agent in case there is a question about the validity of your agent’s authority.

Deliver your power of attorney to the necessary people

You should give your agent a copy of your power of attorney.

You can also give copies to any people or businesses that your agent might deal with on your behalf. This is not a legal requirement, but receiving the power of attorney directly from you might help put other people at ease.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • You don’t know who to choose as your agent
  • You want to use a POA for Medicaid planning
  • You want to discuss which powers you should give your agent
  • You want legal review of your completed power of attorney
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Frequently asked questions about Florida powers of attorney

There are several different types of powers of attorney in Florida, and different lawyers may use slightly different names for some of these. The following powers of attorney are the main types you should know about.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney delegates broad powers to an agent. This will allow your agent to perform almost any act on your behalf. However, Florida law does not allow you to make a statement that you are giving your agent all powers or broad powers. You must list the specific types of actions that you authorize your agent to perform or your power of attorney will be invalid.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney is a power of attorney that grants an agent authority to perform a specific act or types of acts. For example, you might be leaving the state for an extended period and want to authorize a friend to sell your home or manage property for you.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney that remains effective when you are incapacitated. Traditionally, powers of attorney would cease being effective when the principal was incapacitated. The durable power of attorney allows you the comfort of knowing that your agent can continue to act when you cannot act for yourself.

To ensure you have a durable power of attorney it must state, “This durable power of attorney is not terminated by subsequent incapacity of the principal except as provided in chapter 709, Florida Statutes,” or similar words that show you intend it to be durable.

Nondurable Power of Attorney

With a nondurable power of attorney, your agent’s authority ceases when you are incapacitated. If you do not indicate that your power of attorney is durable, it will be considered nondurable. Use a nondurable power of attorney when you want to have strict oversight over an agent’s actions and do not want them to have authority when you cannot monitor them. This type of power of attorney is most appropriate when you grant limited authority for a specific transaction or type of transaction.

Designation of a Health Care Surrogate

Although it is not called a power of attorney, the designation of a health care surrogate is the equivalent of a medical power of attorney. You can choose whether it is effective immediately or only when you become incapacitated.

Springing Power of Attorney

Unlike many states, Florida does not allow springing powers of attorney. A springing power of attorney only becomes effective when a specific event happens (usually the principal’s incapacity). In Florida, all powers of attorney are effective when they are executed. The only exception to this rule is the designation of a health care surrogate, which allows you to dictate that it is effective upon your incapacity.

You do not need a lawyer for a financial power of attorney. If you have an easy-to-use form that complies with Florida law, like the forms we offer, you can create your own financial power of attorney. If you purchase Attorney Advantage, an experienced estate planning attorney can help you fill out your form and review it once you finish it.

 

Most powers of attorney will last indefinitely, but a power of attorney automatically ends when any of the following happen:

  • The principal dies
  • The power of attorney lists a termination date and that date arrives
  • The principal becomes incapacitated and the power of attorney is nondurable
  • A court determines that the principal is partially or totally incapacitated and does not allow the agent to maintain authority (if a court intervenes, it does not matter if the power of attorney is durable)
  • The power of attorney’s purpose is accomplished (for example, an agent has the power to buy property and completes the purchase)
  • An agent’s power is terminated and revoked, and there are not co-agents or successor agents
  • The principal revokes the power of attorney

If an agent’s authority terminates, a power of attorney can remain in effect if there are co-agents or successor agents. The following events cause an agent’s authority to cease:

  • The agent dies or becomes incapacitated
  • An agent resigns
  • A court removes the agent
  • The agent and principal are married and either one files for divorce (unless the power of attorney states that the agent’s authority will survive a divorce)

If an agent does not have knowledge that either their authority or the power of attorney is terminated and continues to act in good faith, the agent’s acts will be binding on the principal.

You can revoke a power of attorney at any time as long as you are competent.

Your revocation must be in writing and signed and dated. You also can revoke a power of attorney by creating a new power of attorney. However, a new power of attorney does not automatically revoke an old power of attorney unless it states the previous power of attorney is revoked.

You should give notice to the agent that the power of attorney is revoked. The Florida Power of Attorney Act permits notice to be in “a manner reasonably suitable under the circumstances,” including first-class mail, personal delivery to the agent, fax, or email. You should confirm that the agent received the revocation. An agent who acts in good faith without notice of a revocation can still bind you.

There are some acts an agent can never do for a principal even if the power of attorney says the agent has authority, including voting in an election and making or revoking a will. A full list of prohibited acts is available at Florida Power of Attorney Act Section 709.2201(3).

Some powers can only be granted if the principal signs or initials next to the power in the power of attorney. These powers include making a trust for the principal and changing beneficiary designations for the principal. A full list of acts that require an additional signature or initial next to the power is available at Florida Power of Attorney Act Section 709.2202.

If an agent presents a power of attorney to a business or another third party, the business or third party does not need to conduct business with the agent if it would not be required to do business with the principal. For example, if an agent asked a third party to sell an item to the principal that is not for sale, the third party would not be required to sell.

If a third party would be required to deal with the principal, then it should honor a valid power of attorney. If a third party unreasonably refuses to honor a power of attorney, a court can order them to honor it.

However, Florida law does allow third parties to ask for assurances that a power of attorney is valid before conducting business with an agent. A third party can do the following:

  • Require an agent to sign an affidavit stating that the agent is validly using the power of attorney
  • Request an opinion from an attorney about the validity of the power of attorney
  • Request an English translation if the power of attorney is in another language

If an agent fails to provide any of above, a third party can refuse to accept the power of attorney.

A power of attorney for your elderly parents is an important way to help them manage their finances. You should talk to your parents and see if they already have a power of attorney and if they want to revoke or modify it.

If your parents are competent, you can help them create a power of attorney. However, if they are incompetent or incapacitated, they cannot create a power of attorney. You will need to petition a court to appoint you or another adult as a guardian.

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