The Georgia legislature passed a new power of attorney statute last session, effective on July 1st of 2017. The statute’s provisions make powers of attorney enforceable in court. Under the old law, if a third party refused to accept a power of attorney, the agent had little recourse. Now, if a third party refuses to accept a power of attorney the burden is on them to show they are acting in good faith. If a court finds that they are not acting in good faith, the principal can recover attorneys fees and costs.
The drafters designed the Georgia Power of Attorney (POA) to parallel the laws of other states. More uniformity means less likelihood of issues with your POA if you move to another state. The changes do not invalidate a POA created before July 1, but there are new features in the law that may benefit you. You should review your estate plan anytime the law changes and now is no exception. Set up a meeting with your Savannah estate planning attorney now to review your current POA. Your attorney can determine if you need updates.
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