Important changes in the new Florida law include:
- An individual can no longer make a springing power of attorney - a springing POA is a power of attorney that becomes effective in the event of disability or some future contingent event (there is an exception of military powers);
- All Florida Powers of Attorney must be durable powers of attorney (i.e. they must be effective when signed);
- A Grantor must specifically initial any provision that allows for:
- gifting, changing beneficiary of a retirement account,
- changing any benefiary of an annuity,
- changing the ownership or beneficiary of a life insurance policy,
- amending, modifying, creating, revoking or terminating a trust,
- waiving the principal's right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including surivor benefits under a retirement plan, or
- disclaiming property and powers of appointment;
- If multiple agents are named, absent explicit direction otherwise, each agent may act unilaterally. This changes the presumption, it used to be that if multiple agents were named, they had to act together; and
- Third parties are required to accept a copy of the power of attorney (and not demand an original).
The changes are not retro-active, so powers of attorney drafted before October 1, 2011 are still valid (including gifting provisions that are not initialed). However, to avoid confusion, it may be best to redo any older power of attorney forms you have.