A power of attorney is a written document authorizing another person to act on your behalf. In Connecticut, a power of attorney must be executed pursuant to certain formalities. Powers of attorney may be very broad in scope, or limited to a number of activities. Some examples of the authority granted by a power attorney are banking transactions, insurance matters, business affairs and the obtainment of medical records. Powers of attorney may also be limited to a specific transaction, such as the sale of real estate.
Powers of attorney are often essential estate planning tools, and are often used when the principal (the person who signs or “grants” the power of attorney) becomes unavailable or incapable of handling his or her own affairs.
It is vitally important to be sure that you fully understand the authority that you are granting to another under a power of attorney. A general power of attorney is very broad and far reaching, allowing the person you designate (known as your “agent”) to undertake anything you could do on your own. Your agent must be trustworthy and honest, and you should have no reservations as to your appointment of this person.
It is important to be sure that your power of attorney is “durable”, meaning that it is effective in the event of your future incapacity or disability.
If you have any questions regarding a power of attorney that you have executed, your authority under a power of attorney or wish to discuss having a power of attorney or other form of estate planning document prepared, please contact Tynan & Iannone.