Moving to any new state, including Florida, involves a myriad of legal considerations, including amending or creating your estate planning documents. One important thing to consider is whether your existing Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) from another state remains valid in Florida. In this article, we’ll explore the factors influencing the decision of whether to draft a new Durable Power of Attorney after moving to the Sunshine State.
- **Understanding State-Specific Laws: **
Each state has its own statutes and laws governing Durable Power of Attorney documents, and Florida is no exception. While most states have similar laws on Durable Power of Attorneys, variations will likely still exist. Depending on your prior state law, Florida’s laws may differ in terms of language requirements, witness signatures, and other formalities.
To ensure that your Durable Power of Attorney conforms with Florida’s legal standards, it’s advisable to review and, if necessary, update the document. Failure to comply with Florida laws and regulations could result in complications when the DPOA needs to be invoked. For example, per Florida Statute 709.2105, the law requires that a Durable Power of Attorney be signed in front of two witnesses and notarized to be legally binding. Does your Durable Power of Attorney comply with this Florida requirement?
- **Acceptance by Florida Financial Institutions: **
Financial institutions, such as banks and investment firms, may have their own policies and preferences regarding out-of-state Durable Power of Attorneys. While many states recognize the validity of documents executed in other jurisdictions, many institutions may be more comfortable with documents prepared under the laws of the state in which they operate. In our experience, local credit unions and regional banks are more inclined and often quicker to accept DPOAs done in Florida.
- **Reviewing Existing Documents: **
Before rushing to draft a new Durable Power of Attorney, it’s important to carefully review your other existing document, including your health care Power of Attorney and Last Will and Testament. Do those documents still align with your current estate planning goals? Remember that some states, including Florida, may recognize out-of-state documents that meet certain requirements. If your current DPOA and other estate planning documents comply with Florida law, you may not need to create a new one.
The decision of whether to draft a new Durable Power of Attorney after moving to Florida is contingent on various factors, including legal requirements, financial institution preferences, and personal circumstances. Taking the time to consult with legal professionals familiar with Florida law can provide clarity and guidance. While updating legal documents may seem like a daunting task amid a move, ensuring that your DPOA aligns with Florida’s laws can offer peace of mind and smooth the way for future decision-making. If you have any questions please contact The Siegel Law Firm, P.A.