Bench & Bar

JUL 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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Page 25 of 71

| JULY/ AUGUST 2018 24 P owers of attorney (POA) are tools that can help individuals plan for both short-term and long-term disability. ese tools allow the individual (the "principal") to choose whom they want to make decisions for them if they are unable, and decide the extent of power they want to assign in the event of incapacitation. It is a frequent misunderstanding that powers of attorney allow the agent to now act as the individual's attorney; this is not the case. A power of attorney does not substitute for a law school degree and bar license. Kentucky law and powers of attorney have been vague. Because our statutory law was so vague, legal drafters had prepared one page powers of attorney that did not meet Kentucky requirements or the clients' needs. Similarly, Kentucky health-care and financial institutions have refused powers of attorney (even the well-drafted, highly specific ones) because there was no law limiting the liability those individuals accepting the power of attorney could incur. e result has been two-fold: 1) e power of attorney is powerless, and; 2) An advocate needed to utilize the complicated process of establishing a guardianship. In 2006, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act was created to pro- vide a template for states to follow. 1 is past session, the General Assembly tailored the Uniform Act to Kentucky's needs by enacting House Bill 11 ("HB 11"). is article will discuss the statute, and how the statute will provide guidance, balance, and instruction to the agent, the principal, the attorney drafting the document, and the institutions ask to recognize the documents. Features: POTPOURRI

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