Bulletin: CT2016002

Date:
September 28, 2016
To:
All Connecticut Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Uniform Power of Attorney Act (“The Act”)

Dear Associates:

CT Public Act 15-240 (codified as C.G.S. CGS §1-350 to 1-353b), as amended by Public Act 16-40 (collectively the “Act”), adopts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act effective October 1, 2016. The Act repeals existing statutes relating to the current Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney, Springing Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney forms and creates two new Power of Attorney (POA) forms in their place, a Statutory Short Form POA and a Statutory Long Form POA. The Act also creates an optional informational form that can be attached to the POA as well as an affidavit as to the validity of the POA and authority of the Agent. Links to the Act, Public Act 16-40 and the new forms can be found at the end of this bulletin.

Key provisions of the Act include the following:

1. Use of the new statutory forms is not mandatory and no specific form is required under the Act or the Law in general to create a POA. Subject to review, Stewart Title will continue to accept any properly-executed and worded form of POA. 

2. The term “Attorney in Fact” has been replaced with “Agent”, with a resulting new signature block as follows:

[Name of Principal]

By:  (Signature of Agent) L.S. 
Name of Agent 
His/Her Agent

3. The Act applies to any POA created before, on, or after October 1, 2016, but does not apply to one created for healthcare decisions. 

4. A POA executed in Connecticut prior to October 1, 2016, remains valid if it complied with legal requirements in effect at the time of its execution.

5. Any POA executed on or after October 1, 2016, is valid only if it is:

a) dated

b) executed by the Principal or at his/her direction by someone in the Principal’s “conscious presence”

c) witnessed by two witnesses; and

d) acknowledged (only required if a new statutory form is used, BUT note that any Power of Attorney used in connection with the conveyance of an interest in real property must be acknowledged) 

6. Any POA created under the Act is presumptively durable unless it expressly terminates upon the “incapacity” of the Principal as defined in the Act.

7. Similar to the existing forms, the new statutory forms contain a list of standard powers which has been extended to cover retirement plans and taxes. Where the Principal does NOT want to grant a certain standard power to the Agent, the principal must strike out and initial that power. 

8. In addition to standard powers, the Statutory Long Form contains “Optional Estate Planning Powers”, which are only granted when the Principal initials the same.

9. The Act provides for numerous default provisions which can be overridden by contrary/different terms in the POA.

While the foregoing is likely a sufficient review of the new Act relevant to the use of a POA for a transfer of interest in real property, it should be noted that the Act is extensive and contains numerous statutory definitions and provisions regarding Agent duties, liability, and compensation, among others. A comprehensive review of the Act is suggested before utilizing a POA for any specific matter/purpose. As always, we at Stewart Title remain available to assist you in any way possible.

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com

Statutory Short From POA 
Statutory Long Form POA
Optional Information Sheet
Agent Certification
Uniform Power of Attorney Act (C.G.S.§1-350-1-353b) 
CT Public Act 16-40

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
15.52 Powers Of Attorney
Exceptions Manual:
Powers of Attorney
Forms:
None