Orlando, FL asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida

Q: Can the Principal be/ sign as his own witness on a General POA

My Dad’s “daughter” downloaded some generic General POA form for my Dad January 31 2011 and he was suffering from dementia & a brain aneurysm 10yrs prior. I finally got a copy and it shows him as the Principal ( all her writings not his, including writing his name ) and he also signed his name as the witness with the other witness the daughter’s close friend as well as the Notary her friend for years who knew of his diminished mental capacity from early 1990’s ( aneurysm ) How “ valid “ is this Document? It’s been upgraded June 6 2021 to a Durable POA now ( he can barely sign his first name on it ) 5yrs after a Nursing Home evaluation ( therapy ) while he was 86yo and they documented it, his Dementia, disoriented, forgetful & confused, short attention span all charted by Staff. He’s 91yo now as of February & on meds (2) for Alzheimer’s & others, also considered high risk for exploitation!

1 Lawyer Answer
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: No, Florida law (and Florida Statute 709.2105 in particular) requires that powers of attorney have two witnesses. Clearly the principal cannot be the witness to his own POA.

How was it "upgraded" to a durable POA in 2021? Did he again sign it, were there again two witnesses, and a notary? If not, the "upgraded", durable, POA would also be invalid.

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