Comprehensive Powers of Attorney - Part Two

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 are some of the benefits of a Comprehensive Power of Attorney?

Here are two of the biggest benefits associated with having a comprehensive power of attorney:

1. Provides the ability to choose who will make decisions for you (rather than a court).

If someone has signed a power of attorney and later becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions, the attorney in fact named can step into the shoes of the incapacitated person and make important financial decisions. Without a power of attorney, a guardianship or conservatorship may need to be established, and can be very expensive.

2. Avoids the necessity of a guardianship or conservatorship.

Someone who does not have a comprehensive power of attorney at the time they become incapacitated would have no alternative than to have someone else petition the court to appoint a guardian or conservator. The court will choose who is appointed to manage the financial and/or health affairs of the incapacitated person, and the court will continue to monitor the situation as long as the incapacitated person is alive. While not only a costly process, another detriment is the fact that the incapacitated person has no input on who will be appointed to serve.

These are just a few of the many reasons for having a comprehensive power of attorney. Which benefits are most important depends on the situation of the principal and their loved ones. This is why a comprehensive power of attorney is so essential - nobody can predict exactly which powers will be needed in the future. The planning goal is to have a power of attorney in place that empowers a succession of trustworthy agents to do whatever needs to be done in the future.

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.