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Powers of Attorney and Health Care Surrogates for Singles: What About Marriage?

I’ve previously discussed the effect of marriage on a previously executed will.  In that case, § 732.507, Florida Statutes, provides that a marriage will not revoke a previous will, but in general the spouse will have rights to inherit pursuant to § 732.301, Florida Statutes.  But does a later marriage revoke, or in any other way affect, a durable power of attorney (“DPA”) or designation of a health care surrogate document (“HCS”)?  This issue would arise if someone other than the future spouse was appointed as agent pursuant to a DPA or as a surrogate pursuant to a HCS.   For example, in year 1, Amy executes a DPA that names her sister, Carly, as her agent and a HCS that names her sister as her surrogate.  Amy becomes married to Evan in year 2 and Amy wonders if Evan replaces Carly as agent and surrogate.

I’ve reviewed Chapter 709, Florida Statutes (the laws that govern powers of attorney), and Chapter 765, Florida Statutes (the rules that govern advance directives, including HCSs) and quickly searched for any applicable cases.  After my review, I’ve found no law that suggests that a marriage will revoke, or in any other way affect, a DPA or HCS.  Thus, based upon my analysis, Amy’s marriage to Evan would not affect the validity of her DPA or HCS and Carly, not Evan, would be Amy’s agent and surrogate.

Note that dissolution of marriage may affect these documents and the powers they bestow, but we can save that discussion for another blog posting.

 

Please contact me at 954-944-3929 or nrumbak@rumbaklaw.com if you want to further discuss these issues.

*This document contains legal information, but does not contain legal advice.

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