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Sunday, November 01, 2015

Some 2015 Florida Law Changes

Below are some statutory changes enacted in Florida in 2015 that you may not have noticed:

GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS. In a major rewrite of Chapter 752, statutory rights of a grandparent to obtain visitation rights with a grandchild were substantially narrowed. Under new Fla.Stats. §752.011, these rights can be legally enforced only if (a) both parents of a minor grandchild are deceased, missing or in a persistent vegetative state, or (b) one parent is in such condition, and the other has been convicted of a felony or an offense of violence evincing behavior that poses a substantial threat of harm to the grandchild’s health or welfare.

The opportunities for visitation were broader under prior law, but most of them had been stricken down as unconstitutional under Florida law as violating the parents’ right of privacy, part of which is treated as including the parents’ freedom as to child-rearing.

A report on the problems with the older statutes is available here.

HEALTH CARE SURROGATE PROVISIONS. Chapter 765 has been revised to now allow an individual to name a surrogate to make health care decisions for them and/or to access their health information without the need for a determination of incapacity.

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES. A provision in the articles of organization of an LLC that limits the authority of a person to transfer LLC real property is not effective to non-members and non-managers unless recorded in the public records in the county of the applicable real property.

CUSTODIAL GIFTS TO MINORS. Custodial gifts in the past had to terminate either by age 18 or 21, depending on the method of creation of the account. Some accounts now may be extended by the transferor to age 25.

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