power of attorney with gavelThis is the second post in our series on how to challenge a Power of Attorney in Hartford, Connecticut. My last article provided an overview of the topics we will be discussing in this series. It is important to understand the grounds on which you can successfully terminate a Power of Attorney. If you know someone who is acting as an agent for a vulnerable adult and obtained a Power of Attorney under duress or coercion, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney. Or if the agent is no longer acting in the best interest of the vulnerable adult, you should know how to act quickly to prevent further issues. Retaining a lawyer experienced in Probate matters will help to ensure you are able to protect a loved one in this instance. In this article I will discuss the various grounds under Connecticut law for challenging a Power of Attorney. If you are in need of assistance, then contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.

The grounds for challenging a Connecticut Power of Attorney include lack of capacity, undue influence, duress, or breach of fiduciary duty

A Power of Attorney is a powerful legal document where an individual can appoint an “agent” to act on their behalf and make medical or financial decisions for them. Under Connecticut law, Power of Attorney documents are “durable” by default, which means that they are valid until explicitly revoked. To challenge a Power of Attorney requires formal litigation in the Probate Court. In a Petition to the Court, you must allege that you have evidence to establish legal grounds to terminate the Power of Attorney. The circumstances surrounding the execution of the Power of Attorney may provide grounds to challenge it. This includes a situation where the person signing the document did not have the mental capacity to understand what they were signing. To establish grounds for lack of capacity, you would have to present evidence of the principal’s incompetency through medical records or witness testimony. Additionally, grounds to set aside a Power of Attorney can be established when the agent coerced the principal into signing through threats or duress, or when the signature was forged. Even if a Power of Attorney is executed properly, an agent may abuse their power and act against the interests of the principal. This also serves as grounds and can be established by evidence showing the agent used the principal’s money for their own needs or denied the principal access to resources.

It is important to take immediate action if a Power of Attorney is being abused

If an agent has been granted Power of Attorney over your loved one, and you believe they are acting improperly, it is important to take immediate action to challenge their authority. The process of challenging the agent’s authority requires a Petition to be filed with the Probate Court. In the Petition, you will need to include allegations regarding the grounds you are seeking to establish. Additionally, you will need to request the Court issue an Injunction. An Injunction will prevent continued harm while the legal matters are being resolved. The Injunction is necessary to preserve the assets of the principal and protect them from the poor decisions of the agent. The Court will then require you to proceed with the normal process of litigation. These types of matters are very complex and involve complicated legal principles. It is crucial to consult with an attorney experienced in probate matters before seeking to challenge a Power of Attorney.

Retaining an attorney will give you the support you need to overcome the legal obstacles of protecting a vulnerable adult. When seeking to challenge a Power of Attorney, a lawyer will guide you through each step of the process and advocate for your loved one. Our firm has over fifty years of experience in probate matters in Hartford, Connecticut. We take pride in providing the best legal service possible for you and your loved ones. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial meeting. We also service the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.