power of attorney written on envelopeThis is the next post in my series on creating a power of attorney in Hartford, Connecticut. My last article discussed how to ensure that your power of attorney follows proper form. It is important to remember that when establishing a power of attorney, it must meet certain requirements or it may be found invalid. If it does not, then possible issues may arise. For instance, the authority could be challenged for not being executed properly. Moreover, individuals seeking to establish a power of attorney should ensure it is detailed to avoid the authorization of too much or too little power. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you to designate a power of attorney and ensure it follows proper form. In this article I will address the limits of a power of attorney in our state. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact us today to speak with an estate planning lawyer.

The limitations of a Connecticut power of attorney comes from the executed document itself

When you authorize a power of attorney, you are able to choose which powers to bestow on the agent. As a result, it is your choice to decide the extent of the powers which they may have. The document that you generate can therefore pose limitations or grant broad authority on the power of attorney. For instance, if you authorize the individual to have power of attorney over all financial affairs, then they will actually have full control over such matters. Similarly, if you grant power of attorney only over one singular checking account, then that is all the agent has authority over.

The agent’s authority cannot extend beyond what the power of attorney gives them. This is best explained by way of example. Suppose you give an agent a broad power of attorney over all of your business accounts while you are unavailable. Your sole intention was to ensure that your revenues are collected and invoices are paid. Revenue is flowing while you are away and the business is becoming more profitable. As a result of this high level of business, the agent then decides to use the additional revenue to pay off some business debt. If you had been present, you would have preferred to use the funds for other purposes. Unfortunately, due to the fact that you gave such broad authority to the agent, it is possible that you will have no recourse against him or her. If, on the other hand, the authority was more narrowly tailored, then you may be able to seek compensation from the agent. What options you do, and do not, have will depend on the specifics of the matter.

It is possible to challenge a power of attorney in a Connecticut Court when the agent is exceeding their authority

If an agent has been granted the power of attorney over your loved one and you believe they are acting improperly, then it may be possible to challenge their authority. You may challenge a power of attorney when an agent is abusing their powers regarding financial matters and/or health matters. If you suspect that a power of attorney may be exceeding the scope of their authority, it is important to act swiftly before assets are depleted or poor health decisions are made. If you do not respond promptly, certain claims might be lost or it might be impossible to recover the assets. The process can be initiated by filing a petition with the probate court to stop any potential transactions from happening. You can also seek an injunction to prevent certain health decisions from being made. Following this, the case will proceed like a regular lawsuit. These cases are often very complex and entail complicated legal principles so it is crucial to consult with counsel when seeking to establish a power of attorney.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of retaining an experienced estate planning lawyer when seeking to grant or challenge a power of attorney. Consulting with an attorney can help you better understand your situation. An experienced lawyer can help you by advocating for the best possible outcome. Our firm has over fifty years of experience in estate administration in Hartford, Connecticut. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. 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.