New Power of Attorney Act: You Now Have More Protection

power of attorney actConnecticut has amped up the protection that a power of attorney provides.

Effective October 1, 2016, Connecticut will do away with the statutory short form power of attorney act, replacing it with the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA).

The UPOAA both clarifies and modernizes Connecticut’s principal-agent laws, and gives you greater protection under the law from exploitation.

The UPOAA sends a clear message that there will be harsh consequences for any agent who breaks the trust and welfare of a senior for financial gain.

Here are some highlights of the changes:

  1. Powers of attorney (POA) are automatically durable, which means if you become incapacitated, the POA is still valid.
  2. You can appoint whomever you want to serve as your conservator within your POA.
  3. The UPOAA creates liability for agents who misuse or abuse their position in several ways:
    1. First, the UPOAA gives more people access to the probate courts to seek the court to order an accounting of the agent’s actions while acting under a POA;
    2. Second, the UPOAA gives courts the ability to order an agent who has misappropriated funds to repay the money, and to reimburse you for attorney’s fees, costs, and interest; and
    3. Third, the UPOAA grants the probate court with jurisdiction to determine the duties of and limitations on an agent, and allows an interested party to petition the probate court to determine
      1. whether you had capacity to execute the POA,
      2. whether you were unduly influenced to execute the POA,
      3. or determine whether the POA was executed with adequate formalities.

So what does this mean?

Essentially, the UPOAA creates an opportunity for those who are close to you to get into court to ensure that your agent is not abusing his or her power under a POA, which will ultimately help to protect you from misuse and exploitation.

If you feel at any time that you are being taken advantage of by the person you named as your POA, contact us immediately. We can help to protect you.

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