How Durable Is Your Durable Power Of Attorney?
In 2011, everything about the Durable Power of Attorney, as we know it, changed dramatically. That’s when the State of Florida implemented a new set of laws governing these documents. And the impact on both Boomers and seniors could be significant.
What does this legislation mean to you?
- The traditional “springing” feature of a Durable Power of Attorney is now gone. The document will now take effect once you sign it, rather than if and when you become incapacitated.
- There will no longer be “blanket” Powers of Attorney granting powers to your agent; you’ll now have to sign or initial these powers one-by-one.
- It may be much more onerous and time-consuming for your agent to execute the provisions of your Durable Power of Attorney…to execute your wishes.
- Your Durable Power of Attorney will not even be considered “Durable” unless it contains specific language to that effect!
- Creating a new PDA will no longer automatically void the existing one. You’ll now have to sign a specific type of revocation statement.
- The new statute mandates very specific language; no longer will broad references such as “to act in the principal’s best interest” be allowed.
This new statute also gives banks the power to ask for a legal opinion as to whether they’ll even accept your PDA!
Does Your Durable Power Of Attorney Still Protect You?
And even if you’ve done a properly-executed Power of Attorney previously, don’t assume you’re protected. The provision is in and it will become subject to the new law – meaning that it may no longer provide you with the full rights, privileges, and protections that it once did.
The Bottom Line?
The only way to know for sure if you’re protected, of course, is to get your DPA checked by an attorney who’s an expert in elder law. (If it’s before 2011 we are going to suggest this be done.)
We can help. We can tell you if you’re in good shape with your existing Power of Attorney…or if you’re not. And if you’re not, we can draw up an iron-clad Durable Power of Attorney for you…one that will protect your interests, and spell out your wishes.
Peace of mind is a precious gift. Make sure your “Durable” Power of Attorney truly is durable!