If you sign a Durable Financial Power of Attorney in Port St. Lucie FL & Vero Beach FL naming someone as your agent, at what point does that person’s authority to make financial decisions on your behalf end?
- Revocation. Assuming you are mentally competent, you have the power to revoke your Power of Attorney at any time. Once you do this, your agent no longer has the authority to act under the powers granted in the document, and can be held liable if he or she knowingly attempts to do so.
- Termination by a Court. Very occasionally, a court will revoke an agent’s authority to act under a Power of Attorney. Generally, this only happens in situations where the agent is proven to have seriously abused his or her authority.
- When No Agent is Available to Serve. If you name an agent who passes away before you, or who chooses not to accept his or her role under your Power of Attorney, and no alternate agent is named, then your Power of Attorney is not a valid document. Naming an alternate can help avoid this situation.
- Death. When you pass away, your Power of Attorney is automatically revoked. The power to pay your bills, manage your property, and take other such important actions passes to the personal representative of your estate or to the successor trustee of your Revocable Living Trust.
Under Florida law, divorce does not automatically revoke a Power of Attorney. So if you’ve named your spouse as your agent, and the two of you subsequently divorce, you’ll want to meet with your estate planning attorney to revoke your existing Power of Attorney in Vero Beach FL and designate a new agent. Otherwise, your former spouse could retain broad access to your financial affairs.