PA 16-40—sSB 142

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE CONNECTICUT UNIFORM POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT

SUMMARY: This act delays the effective date of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOA) (adopted in PA 15-240) from July 1, 2016 to October 1, 2016. It also designates the existing sample form that is part of the UPOA as the statutory “long form” and creates a new statutory “short form” for creating a power of attorney (POA). It makes changes to the provisions governing estate planning powers in the long form.

Lastly, the act makes additional minor, technical, and conforming changes to the UPOA.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016, except the provision delaying the UPOA's effective date is effective upon passage.

2, 5 & 7 — PERSONAL AND FAMILY MAINTENANCE

The UPOA established nine powers that a POA may grant to an agent when the POA grants general authority over personal and family maintenance. The act alters one of the existing powers and adds a tenth one.

Care for Certain Individuals

One of the powers a principal may grant an agent in a POA is authority to perform acts to maintain the customary standard of living of the principal; his or her spouse; and certain others, including the principal's children. The act limits this default provision on supporting the principal's children to those children the principal is legally obligated to support.

Document Directing Disposition or Custody of Body on Death

Existing law allows a principal to authorize an agent to execute a written document, before the principal's death, directing (1) the disposition of the principal's body upon death or (2) someone to have custody and control of the body upon death. The act clarifies that a conservator cannot revoke this document unless authorized by the court.  

The act specifies that a principal may grant this authority to an agent under a POA as part of the agent's authority over personal and family maintenance. It allows the document to designate an alternate person to have custody and control of the body. The act specifies that dispositions may include, among other things cremation, incineration, disposition of cremains, burial, method of internment, alkaline hydrolysis, and cryogenic preservation.

3 — POA FORMS

Designation of Existing Form and Creation of New Short Form

The act designates the existing sample form that is part of the UPOA as the statutory long form and creates a new statutory short form for creating a POA. The short form is generally similar to the long form and includes the categories of powers a principal may grant an agent. Unlike the long form, the short form does not include certain estate planning powers. The act specifies that it does not prohibit the use of other POA forms as desired by the parties.

Both forms (1) list powers that a principal can grant an agent and (2) require the principal to strike out and initial each power that he or she does not wish to grant.

Estate Planning Powers

The act designates certain powers in the long form as estate planning powers. For these powers, the principal must initial next to a specific power listed in the form in order to grant that power to the agent. This applies to powers, with some restrictions, over:

1. inter vivos trusts (trusts made during the grantor's lifetime),

2. gifts,

3. rights of survivorship,

4. designating beneficiaries,

5. authorizing another person to exercise authority under the POA,

6. waiving the right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity,

7. exercising fiduciary powers, and

8. disclaiming or refusing an interest in property.

8 — REINSTATEMENT OF AGENT AFTER CONSERVATORSHIP TERMINATES

By law, a probate court appointing a conservator of the estate to manage the affairs of a principal may limit, suspend, or terminate an agent's authority to act for the principal under a POA. Beginning July 1, 2016, prior law would have allowed the probate court to reinstate an agent whose authority was previously limited, suspended, or terminated. The act allows reinstatement only if the agent's authority was limited or suspended, but not terminated.

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