After remaining relatively unchanged since 1965 (yes, 40+ years ago), Connecticut has replaced its power of attorney (POA) laws and form with a new more powerful form and laws to ensure your wishes are honored.
This new law is so important and will have such a potentially significant impact on you, that the Connecticut legislature passed the law in 2015 but gave us all until October 1, 2016 (its effective date) to get ready for it.
Should you revise your existing POA? DEFINITELY!
If you signed your POA prior to October 1st, 2016, it is still valid, but you won’t have all the powers and protections of the new law.
And if you don’t have a POA, now is the time to get one!
Highlights of the new POA
1. Power of attorneys are now automatically durable, which means if you become incapacitated, the POA is still valid.
2. A third party, such as a financial institution, must honor a POA unless they believe that the POA is revoked, the agent has been removed, or the action the agent is attempting to take is outside the scope of authority granted by the POA.
3. You can appoint whomever you want to serve as your conservator within your POA.
4. Agents who misuse or abuse their position can now be liable. The agent must act in a certain manner unless the POA provided otherwise.
5. The new law includes what are commonly referred to as “hot powers.” These are extremely powerful, and useful powers that you can confer upon your agent. Agents may now make gifts, change beneficiary designations, and create or change rights of survivorship. These provisions, powerful as they are, must be exercised in a manner consistent with the agent’s authority granted in the POA.
6. The new POA form includes the appointment of a successor, so you no longer need a springing POA unless you don’t want the POA to be effective right away.
7. There are legal remedies available if a third party rejects it without a reason listed on the statute.
We strongly recommend that anyone who has a Connecticut Power of Attorney should have it reviewed and updated using the new form. Remember that you should only assign someone as your POA if you trust them completely—it is a very powerful document.
Contact us today to make your appointment.