Hughes Fall 2011 Elder Law Newsletter (Powers of Attorney) : Hughes News of Interest
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Hughes Fall 2011 Elder Law Newsletter (Powers of Attorney)

by James Hughes on 10/21/11

CT Elder Law Newsletter

Fall: 2011

PLANNING FOR INCAPACITY

DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY

The day may never come, but as the Boy
Scouts of America motto has long declared:
BE PREPARED!
Proper planning for possible future incapacity
would include, at the minimum, execution of a
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY.

A power of attorney (POA) is a written
document which appoints another person or
institution (the “attorney-in-fact” or “agent”) to
act on the person’s (the “principal’s”) behalf.
The Connecticut “Statutory Short Form Power
of Attorney” grants broad and sweeping powers
to the agent, who must act as such agent for
the benefit and interest of the principal. The
agent may not act for his/her own benefit-such
as making gifts to himself or others-UNLESS,
the POA clearly and specifically authorizes the
action/gift.

Be sure to make your POA “durable”,
which must contain additional language to
the effect: “this power of attorney shall not
be affected by the subsequent disability or
incompetence of the principal.” The Durable
POA will not be revoked if and when the principal
becomes incompetent.

The POA is effective immediately upon
execution OR upon the happening of a future life
event-if you so indicate in the POA.

If you want more than one attorney-in-fact/
agent designated on your POA and you wish
each agent alone to be able to exercise the power
conferred, you must indicate so by stating the
word “severally” in the POA, otherwise the agents
must act jointly in all decision making.

Your attorney-in-fact/agent may act in your
name, place and stead in any way which you
yourself could act, if you were personally present.
The POA allows your agent to handle some or all
of the following:
(a) real estate transactions;
(b) chattel & goods transactions;
(c) bond, share & commodity transactions;
(d) banking transactions;
(e) business operating transactions;
(f) insurance transactions;
(g) estate transactions;
(h) claims and litigation
(i) personal relationships and affairs;
(j) benefits from military service;
(k) records, reports and statements;
(l) all other matters.

You may add special provisions and
limitations to your POA as you see fit, including
perhaps a gifting provision allowing your
attorney-in-fact “to make gifts to your spouse and/
or one or more of your descendants, including
gifts to your named attorney-in-fact”

In short a POA would allow you to appoint
someone you TRUST to continue to handle the
day-to-day operations of your life as set forth in
the litany of powers granted to your agent as set
forth above.

Connecticut Legal Services has a website, that addresses frequently
asked question (FAQ) about powers of attorney. It
also sets forth and explains
Connecticut Laws Relating to Power of
Attorney, here.

THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT ELDER
LAW DOCUMENTS:
It is important to have updated documents
available to help you in your time of need:
1. Power of Attorney: You appoint someone
to help you take care of all matters for
you;
2. Health Care Instructions: Comprises:
a Living Will; Appointment of Health
Care Representative; Appointment of your
chosen Conservator; Designation of Organ
Donorship;
3. Last Will & Testament.
4. Elder Law/TITLE XIX Planning: Call
Attorney Jim Hughes @ 203-256-1977

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