Many older people develop physical or mental conditions that prevent them from making major decisions for themselves. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document used in estate planning that allows a person (principal) to appoint a third party (agent) to manage their financial affairs and other important matters if the principal becomes incapacitated.
POAs in Connecticut are governed by the Uniform POA Act. A POA can be used to handle several matters. You may consider using a POA to:
- Buy or sell property for you.
- Manage your banking transactions.
- File your tax returns.
The POA must be signed in front of two uninterested witnesses and notarized before it can go into effect. In Connecticut, POAs are generally presumed to be durable, meaning that your POA will stay in effect even if you are temporarily or permanently incapacitated. However, you must create your POA while you are of sound mind and have sufficient mental capacity to do so.
Choosing the right agent to have power of attorney
The person you choose to manage your personal affairs will eventually have to take on several responsibilities. While you may choose just about any competent adult (18 or older), it is in your best interest to choose someone you really trust to handle these responsibilities. This person should be someone that knows you well and is willing to adhere to your wishes. You should also choose someone who can effectively keep track of all your transactions and communicate effectively about finances.
Once you have completed the necessary form, and it is signed and notarized, you will want to make sure to store it in a safe place. Make sure the person you chose as your agent has a copy of the document and knows how to access the original.