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Q&A: The Impact Of Florida's New Power Of Attorney Law

In an effort to protect elderly persons from being exploited, the state of Florida enacted a new law this month that changes the way powers of attorney are executed and notarized. The NNA’s Healthcare Professionals Section spoke with elder law attorney Howard Krooks to discuss the changes in the new law and how it may affect powers of attorney notarized in other states.

What changes does the Florida law make to the notarization requirements for powers of attorney?
Previously, only durable powers of attorney — a power of attorney that remains effective if the principal giving the power is incapacitated later — had to be witnessed by two individuals and notarized. Under the new Power of Attorney Act, this requirement now extends to both durable and non-durable powers of attorney.

Can the Notary serve as a witness?
The Notary can serve as one of the witnesses. It’s important to note that Floridians are being warned that if the procedures established by the new law are not followed, the powers of attorney that don’t comply will be invalid.

How does this law affect powers of attorney created and notarized in other states?
Florida’s new power of attorney act is based upon the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which has been adopted in some form in a handful of jurisdictions. The purpose of the uniform law is to render powers of attorney portable between states. However, Florida made some revisions to the Act, and because of this there are still a few questions about document portability between other states and Florida.

What would happenif someone has created and notarized a power of attorney in another state, but then moves to Florida? Would the power of attorney still remain valid?
An existing power of attorney that pre-dates October 1, 2011 from another state will still be valid in Florida as long as it was validly executed according to the laws of the other state.

What should a Florida Notary do if asked by someone to “re-notarize” an older power of attorney document?
I do not recommend that a Notary re-notarize a power of attorney that was in existence prior to October 1, 2011, because there are new rules that require either a principal’s initials or a signature next to the powers granted on the document. If this requirement isn’t already present, and the document is signed again on or after October 1, 2011, the powers on the document will not be validly conferred.

11 Comments

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Paul

01 Dec 2014

Does the Notary expiration date make a document (power of attorney) void if the notarization was done before the expiration date. Example: Power of attorney signed and notarized Febuary 2010, Notary expires November 2010. Does the power of attorney expire on the notary's stamp expiration date. This came up today when presenting this for vehicle title transfer in Florida.

National Notary Association

01 Dec 2014

Hi Paul, That is a legal question and would need to be answered by a Florida attorney.

Frank Contr

05 Nov 2015

Florida durables do nondurable power of attorney documents that are signed and notarized in Nj with residents as witness

ajone1s@icloud.com

04 Aug 2017

Did I read correctly that the principal's initials or signature must appear next to any power granted?

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2017

Hello. For more information on the 2011 Florida power of attorney act, please see here: http://leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0709/0709.html

Christina Beaulieu

26 Nov 2017

Does POA have to be a relative or can it be a friend out of state?

National Notary Association

27 Nov 2017

Hello. We're sorry, but that's a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Walter Smallman

11 Mar 2018

In 1991 dad went to Fla. every winter for work from Ohio. He made a POA in Fla by a Notary Public.So I can handle everything here in OHIO as though I was him. NOW he is 85, Health not good, don't remember a lot. He has a TRUST now instead of will. Can this POA override the TRUST if need be.

National Notary Association

12 Mar 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but that is a legal question that would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

Ana Araya

02 Aug 2018

Is a POA in FL valid with a fingerprint instead of a signature?

National Notary Association

02 Aug 2018

Hello. We're sorry, but any questions about the legality of a power of attorney document would need to be answered by a qualified attorney.

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