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What is a Durable Power of Attorney?


By Phillip B. Rarick, Weston Estate Planning Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal instrument you may give to a trusted family member or friend to help manage your financial affairs if you cannot because of incapacity – or maybe because you are on a trip outside the US. Every person should have a strong and detailed Florida power of attorney to help avoid court intervention in the event of incapacity.

It is important to have a DPA that takes full advantage of Florida’s new law which is now stronger but more complex. Do not try to draft or sign a DPA yourself as banks will not likely accept any DPA that does not strictly comply with Florida law.

It is important that the Durable Power of Attorney is dated after October 2011 since the law was completely rewritten effective October 1 of 2011. If you have a DPA dated prior to October, 2011, we strongly recommend that your update your DPA.

A final caution: A DPA is a powerful legal instrument; only give a DPA to a person you trust 100%. This is a legal instrument that only should be prepared by an experienced Weston estate planning or trust attorney. Let us know if we can help.