On October 1, 2016, the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act will
take effect. The following is a general overview of the use and benefit
of powers of attorney, and in particular, the use and benefit of what
we refer to at Massih Law, LLC, as “comprehensive” power of attorney.
What is a “Comprehensive” Power of Attorney?
To answer this question, we first have to define what a power of attorney.
A power of attorney in Connecticut is a document that grants the “attorney
in fact” or “agent” the power to make certain financial
and personal decisions for the Principal (e.g. Deb names her husband Tom
the attorney-in-fact in her power of attorney to make decisions on her behalf).
Unfortunately, many basic powers of attorney are so general in nature that
they can actually cause more problems than they solve.
A comprehensive power of attorney avoids these problems by taking into
account with particularity a greater number of concerns that are specific
to the Principal, given their circumstances and stage in life.
For example, as people age, their needs change and their power of attorney
should reflect these changes. Seniors have concerns about long-term care,
applying for government benefits to pay for care, as well as choosing
the proper care providers. They may also have a desire to protect assets
in the event of a crisis. Without allowing the attorney in fact to perform
these tasks and more, precious time and money may be wasted.
On the other hand, younger adult children may need to provide their parents
with access to certain information, as well as their finances so that
in the event of an accident, the parents may act quickly on their behalf.
This can especially be an issue for adult children who are away at school.
Please call us if we can be of assistance in any way or if you have any
questions about powers of attorney. We can be reached at (203) 651-5521.