The Florida requirements for a durable power of attorney are changing

Whether you are looking for assistance with estate planning or need help with will and trust contests, probate, trust administration or litigation or guardianship administration and litigation contact Linde Law Group today.  The firm regularly provides legal serves in Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and Naples.

Section 709.2112 changes the statute relating to compensation.  This section will spawn litigation and lots of it.  Unfortunately, many attorneys prepare durable powers of attorney (hence "DPOA") without really understanding the terms and conditions of the document.  Here is a provision that incorporates a fee provision into a DPOA regardless of whether that provision is contained within the document.  Take a situation where there are two daughters.  One daughter takes care of the parent, and the parent gives the daughter authority under a DPOA.  However, the document is silent concerning compensation.  Five years later the parent dies.  During the estate administration, the daughter who was an agent files a claim for compensation as the parent's agent.  Now under the statute the daughter is entitled to compensation in an amount considered to be reasonable.  Litigation lawyers love this type of statute because ambiguity breeds conflict, which can result in litigation.  The better result here is to define what is reasonable under the statute or prohibit compensation altogether.  For more information contact Linde Law Group today!

§ 709.2112.  Reimbursement and compensation of agent [Effective October 1, 2011]
   (1) Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, an agent is entitled to reimbursement of expenses reasonably incurred on behalf of the principal.
(2) Unless the power of attorney otherwise provides, a qualified agent is entitled to compensation that is reasonable under the circumstances.
(3) Notwithstanding any provision in the power of attorney, an agent may not be paid compensation unless the agent is a qualified agent.
(4) For purposes of this section, the term "qualified agent" means an agent who is the spouse of the principal, an heir of the principal within the meaning of s. 732.103, a financial institution that has trust powers and a place of business in this state, an attorney or certified public accountant who is licensed in this state, or a natural person who is a resident of this state and who has never been an agent for more than three principals at the same time.
Matthew A. Linde
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