CBA Fine Tunes State's Uniform Power of Attorney Act
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Posted by: Connecticut Bar Association
The CBA's Elder Law Section and the Estates and Probate Section worked together to help pass An Act Concerning Revisions to the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act.
The Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act was enacted last year (Public Act No. 15-240). This legislation was a major update for Connecticut law with regard to the use of powers of attorney. Even though the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act was enacted in 2015, the effective date for the new law was July 1, 2016.
“The idea was to allow all interested parties to have several months to understand the changes and to identify any needed fixes for the 2016 session, before the law officially went into effect,” said Estates and Probate Section Vice Chair, Christopher S. Drew of Drew & Mersereau PC.
This additional time gave the members of the Elder Law Section and the Estates and Probate Section the opportunity propose changes to the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act before it became effective. While the majority of the revisions to the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act were made to ensure conformity with other provisions of the general statutes and consistency of all effective dates relating to the implementation of the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act, there were two noteworthy changes. First, the effective date for the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act was changed from July 1, 2016 to October 1, 2016. Second, with the input of the real estate bar and other concerned members of the bar, two versions of the statutory form were created.
The first version is a short form, similar to our current statutory short form and suitable for most transactions. The second version is a long form that includes new estate planning powers, allowing gift giving and other powers that will not be appropriate for all clients. These new estate planning powers require a principal to “opt in” by initialing each power that is desired.
“One of the goals of opting in to the more controversial powers was also to help prevent elder financial abuse by encouraging signers to take notice of each power they were proactively including,” said Deborah Tedford, one of the authors of the legislation.
Estates and Probate Section members Mary M. Ackerly of Ackerly Brown LLP, Deborah J. Tedford of Tedford Law Firm PC, Suzanne Brown Walsh of Murtha Cullina LLP, Amy L. Day of Day & Levy LLC, John R. Ivimey of Reid and Riege PC, and Estates and Probate Section Chair, Richard Marone of Murtha Cullina LLP, worked tirelessly, often with very short notice, to modify the language in the bill in response to concerns raised during the legislative process.