Power of Attorney for Real Estate Transactions in Florida

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

Power of Attorney for Real Estate Transactions in Florida

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone else to transact business in the name of the person granting the power. There are many reasons it could make sense to use a power of attorney for real estate transactions in Florida. When granting authority using a power of attorney, make sure the form you use complies with Florida law, that it meets mortgage lenders' requirements, and that the form complies with the title company's guidelines.

Man in suit handing document to woman

Uses for Power of Attorney

People use power of attorney documents in Florida real estate transactions for many reasons. Sometimes, it is not practical for the property owner to attend the real estate closing. In other cases, the property owner may no longer have the mental capacity to handle their own affairs.

Using a properly executed power of attorney that meets requirements of the state, lender, and title company makes it possible to transact business or record deeds or other documents that would not be possible without court intervention.

Roles and Responsibilities

The person who grants powers under a Florida power of attorney is the principal. Each individual or professional fiduciary authorized to transact business on the principal's behalf is an attorney-in-fact. When the form is effective, the attorney-in-fact can handle the principal's affairs, subject to any limitations provided in the power of attorney document.

By law, your attorney-in-fact must act in your best interest. If you want them to handle real estate transactions, you cannot name a real estate agent or closing agent who has a financial interest in the transaction.

Authorized Transactions

When you create a power of attorney in Florida, you can grant broad authority to them or limit that authority. You can also designate an expiration date or create a durable power of attorney, which remains in effect until its revoked, or upon your death.

If you want to give someone power of attorney for a limited purpose, such as to represent you at a real estate closing, you can limit the powers granted. If you do that, your attorney-in-fact can, for example, handle real estate matters but cannot use the power of attorney to access or your bank account.

Specific Florida Real Estate Requirements

Your power of attorney must meet specific requirements if you want your attorney-in-fact to use it for real estate closings or other transactions. To create a valid power of attorney in Florida, two witnesses and a notary public must also sign the document. If there is a mortgage lender in the transaction, check with them to find out whether you can use a broad power of attorney or whether you need to tailor it for the specific transaction at hand. You may also need to record the original power of attorney with the applicable Recorder of Deeds, along with an affidavit confirming that the power of attorney document is still in effect.

Powers of attorney are not automatically valid in real estate transactions in Florida. It is good practice to check with the mortgage company, title company, or closer before assuming you can use a power of attorney for a real estate contract, closing, or other transaction.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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