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Power of Appointment Florida

In the News • Nov 20, 2022
post about Power of Appointment Florida

What is a power of appointment Florida and do trust beneficiaries ALWAYS get an accounting? A 2021 case from Florida, and one statute, tell us more.

A power of appointment Florida can leave you lots of money. Or…..leave it to someone else.

What is a power of appointment?

A power of appointment is a right, or authority, or a power, to give someone property.

Usually trust property — what’s in the trust

To appoint the property to another.

Or estate probate like in a probate, under a will.

This also means that–and this is IMPORTANT– the “holder” of the power can NOT give you property.
Yup! These powers are typically “flexible” in the sense that you can give property among a few beneficiaries or a class of family members.

Just who can inherit or who “gets” the power is up to the person whose property it is. Like a wealthy grandmother who creates a trust. Or a successful corporate executive mother who dies with a will.

Don’t be left in the dark. Find out about these powers by asking a probate litigation attorney.

Most common example

What’s the most common example of a power of appointment?

Let’s say that mom leaves a trust that benefits your sister for her life

At your sister’s death, the trust says: “Upon [sister’s] death, Sister has the power to appoint the trust to her siblings or issue.” That means that Sister can “give” the trust to her descendants or to you (or other siblings.)

How to read the trust + what to look for

Here is a laundry list of these that you will want to know:

  1. Who created the trust?
  2. Who created the power?
  3. Who holds the power (or can exercise it)?
  4. Who are the potential beneficiaries of the power. Who can the holder give the money to?
  5. How is it exercised? Remember: you typically have to exercise the power according to the instructions in the will or trust. If you don’t, it’s invalid. Don’t assume that the power was exercise properly. Do your own independent verification.
  6. What are the default provisions? WHO takes if the power is not exercised or if the power was IMPROPERLY exercised?

What’s Florida law say?

To read more about this weird legal topic, you can do two things. First, click the links within this Florida Probate Legal Commentary. 2nd, you can read THIS CASE from a Florida Appeals court.