Written by: Attorney Sally B. Fox
A Florida Real Estate Power of Attorney (“FREPOA”) is a written legal document used for you to authorize a person (“Agent”) (at least 18 years old) to act on your behalf related to a Florida real estate related transaction. A FREPOA is typically limited in scope to a specific real estate transaction. For example, it can authorize a person to sign a deed, mortgage, and other documents to buy a parcel of real estate. It can authorize a person to sign a lease of a parcel as a landlord or tenant. It can provide that it is only valid through a specific date.
A FREPOA should be witnessed by two witnesses and notarized. The FREPOA will be recorded if any of the transaction documents are being recorded to prove that you gave the Agent authority to execute the transaction documents on your behalf.
A Power of Attorney does not have to be limited. It can be broad and authorize your Agent to do many other things. Many people will need a general Power of Attorney because it authorizes your Agent to help you if you become ill and unable to handle your own affairs temporarily or permanently.
A FREPOA and a general Power of Attorney ceases if you become incompetent unless you include the language that makes it survive your incompetency. A Power of Attorney that survives your incompetency is referred to as a “Durable” Power of Attorney. Florida Statutes requires specific language be included in order to give your Agent authority to continue to act during the period of incompetency.
If you want your Agent to be able to handle all things, including making a gift or changing a beneficiary for example, that requires a specific form and special approval by you.
A Power of Attorney ends upon your death. That means that your Agent can no longer use the POA to act for you. Upon your death, other documents such as a will or trust take over.
You should take the necessary steps to get all these documents in place the way you want them before you need them. For more information about Florida Power of Attorneys you can contact Sally B. Fox or one of our qualified estate planning, trust & probate attorneys.
Reference: Florida Statutes 709.2101 et seq.