Man signing legal documentThis is the first post in a series of articles discussing the importance of powers of attorney in Hartford, Connecticut. Almost everyone is familiar with the term “power of attorney” but many do not fully understand exactly how a power of attorney is used. The goal of this series is to explain the purpose, legal requirements, scope and risks associated with powers of attorney. It is important to be aware that a power of attorney, when executed properly, is a binding legal document. Depending upon the form used, one could grant broad authority to an agent to take actions related to finances, property, and healthcare on their behalf. For these reasons, issuing a power of attorney should be taken seriously. It is important to consult with an attorney to ensure that your intentions are accurately reflected in the document. If you or a loved one need assistance, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

This series will cover several topics, including:

  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Legal requirements for valid powers of attorney
  • Potential consequences of issuing a power of attorney
  • Medical powers of attorney
  • Durable and medical powers of attorney for children in college

When considering appointing someone as an agent to act on your behalf through a power of attorney, it is important to understand these issues for a variety of reasons. First, one may grant a very broad power of attorney or one may specifically limit the agent’s authority. An issuer should carefully consider the scope of the powers granted and when the power should become effective. Second, Connecticut law prescribes different forms of powers of attorney and specific legal requirements regarding the validity of the documents. Third, it is entirely possible to prepare your own power of attorney. One should be aware of the potential legal ramifications of the documents to avoid unintended consequences. Fourth, durable powers of attorney do not grant the agent authority to make healthcare decisions on the principal’s behalf. Instead, a separate medical power of attorney must be issued for this purpose. Last, we often think of powers of attorney for our spouses or aging parents. Equally important, however, are powers of attorney granted to parents from children attending college. These can prove invaluable in case of a medical emergency or other absence.

Whether part of an overall estate plan or simply to handle specific matters during a planned absence, powers of attorney can be helpful tools in managing one’s affairs. Consulting with an attorney can help you understand which documentation is right for your situation. Our firm has over 50 years of experience in estate administration in Hartford, Connecticut. Call us today to speak with a lawyer. 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.