A Power of Attorney, or “POA,” is an instrument in which a person, called the “principal,” designates another person, called the “attorney-in-fact” or “agent,” to deal with the principal’s property, accounts and affairs. These dealings may be done out of need or convenience. A POA is often designated “durable,” meaning it remains in effect even if the principal become incompetent after signing. Effective July 14, 2018, Kentucky has adopted some helpful revisions to the POA statutes.  Some noteworthy changes include:

Execution. A POA must now be signed in the presence of two disinterested witnesses. This was not required before.  

Third Party Acceptance. In the past, some banks, credit card companies, insurers and other institutions have been reluctant to honor older POA forms often requesting that one of their standard forms be signed. Obviously, if the principal has since become incompetent, this is not possible. Now, under the new statutes, a third party may not require an additional or different form of POA, if the one presented is valid under the Kentucky statutes.    

Durability. A POA is now durable unless it specifically states otherwise.

Guardianship or Conservatorship Proceedings. In the POA, a principal may suggest a person for consideration by the court to serve as the principal’s guardian or conservator, if necessary. The POA will terminate upon the appointment of a guardian or conservator unless the court specifically provides that it shall remain in effect.