Effective for all Powers of Attorney signed on or after June 13, 2021 the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney (POA) has been revised to make it a much simpler form to be signed, especially by those that have physical infirmities.
The most significant changes are as follows:
- The statutory gifts rider to the POA form is eliminated. If one wants the agent they selected to have authority to make gifts in excess of $5,000 per year, they must state so in the “modifications section” of the POA form (permitted standard gifting increased from $500)
- Eliminates requirement that the wording of the POA form be exactly as stated in the law, and allows the POA form to be “substantially compliant”
- Allows a person to sign the POA at the discretion of the principal, if the principal is physically unable to sign
- Provides “safe harbor” provisions for those who in good faith accept a properly acknowledged POA without actual knowledge that the signature is genuine
- Sanctions are permitted against persons, banks, financial institutions, etc., that unreasonably refuse to accept a valid POA. The new law provides specific parameters and time frames for the person or entity to accept or reject the POA
- The obligations of the agent to keep records and receipts are more clearly delineated by the law, and
- The agent’s authority relevant to the principals financial matters as to their health care needs and finances are more delineated.
While it remains to be seen what if any issues will arises from these revisions, all in all these changes to a very important document are welcome.