Connecticut Amends Provisions Concerning the Uniform Power of Attorney Act and Discriminatory Practices Against Veterans
Uniform Power of Attorney Act
Connecticut amended its provisions concerning its Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Provisions in the bill became effective on July 1, 2017.
Effective July 1, 2017, an agent under a power of attorney may perform activities on behalf of the principal or with the principal’s property. This is allowed only if the power of attorney expressly grants the agent the authority to perform such activities and exercise of the authority to perform such activities is not otherwise prohibited by another agreement or instrument to which the authority or property is subject, such as a trust agreement. Sec. 11(a). These activities include creating, amended, revoking, or terminating an inter vivos trust. The agent may also make a gift, create or change rights of survivorship, create or change a beneficiary designation, delegate authority granted under the power of attorney, waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, exercise fiduciary powers, and disclaim property. Sec.11(a)(1)-(7).
An agent may exercise all powers the principal may have over any of the principal’s digital device, digital asset, user account and electronically stored information. This includes any user account and digital asset that currently exists or may exist as technology develops. Such powers include changing and circumventing the principal’s username and password to gain access to such user accounts and information, transferring or withdrawing funds or other assets among or from such user accounts, and opening new user accounts in the principal’s name as the agent determines is necessary or advisable. Sec.11(a)(8). The principal may authorize the agent to access, manage, control, delete and terminate any electronically stored information and communications of the principal to the extent fully allowable under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, the Connecticut Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, and any other federal, state or international privacy law or other law. Sec.11(a)(8).
An agent may act as if he or she were the owner of such property with regard to any intellectual property interests of the principal, including copyrights and contracts for payments of royalties and trademarks. Therefore, the agent is able to register ownership, transfer ownership, grant and revoke licenses, enter, terminate, and enforcing agreements, defend ownership and confer agency upon professionals to represent the principal’s interests before governmental agencies. In general, the agent is able to exercise all powers with respect to the intellectual property that the principal could exercise if present. Sec.11(a)(9).
Limit on Authority
An agent who is not an ancestor, spouse or descendant of the principal may not exercise authority under a power of attorney to create a legal obligation of support or an interest in the principal’s property. This is prohibited whether done by gift, right of survivorship, beneficiary designation, disclaimer, or otherwise. Sec.11(b).
Discriminatory Practices Against Veterans
Connecticut amended its provisions concerning discriminatory practices against veterans. These provisions are effective on October 1, 2017.
Under the statute, it is a discriminatory practice to refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, age, lawful source of income, or familial status or status as a veteran, known herein as a protected class. Sec. 46a-64c(a)(1). It is also prohibited to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling because their status as a protected class. Sec. 46a-64c(a)(2).
One may not make, print, or publish any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, age, lawful source of income, familial status, learning disability, or physical or mental disability or status as a veteran, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination. Sec. 46a-64c(a)(3). Additionally, it is prohibited to represent to a protected class that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale or rental, when such dwelling is in fact available. Sec. 46a-64c(a)(4)(A).
It is a violation of this subdivision for any person to restrict or attempt to restrict the choices of any buyer or renter to purchase or rent a dwelling to an area which is substantially populated, even if less than a majority, by persons of the same protected class as the buyer or renter, while such person is authorized to offer for sale or rent another dwelling which meets the housing criteria as expressed by the buyer or renter to such person, and such other dwelling is in an area which is not substantially populated by persons of the same protected class as the buyer or renter. Sec. 46a-64c(a)(4)(B).
Real Estate Transactions
Any person or entity engaging in residential real estate related transactions many not discriminate against any person in a protected class in making available such a transaction. Sec. 46a-64c(a)(7). He or she may also not deny any person in a protected class access to or membership or participation in any multiple-listing service, real estate brokers’ organization, or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings. Sec. 46a-64c(a)(8).
The provisions of this section do not apply to the rental of a room or rooms in a single-family dwelling unit if the owner actually maintains and occupies part of such living quarters as his or her residence or a unit in a dwelling containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than two families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies the other such living quarters as his or her residence. Sec. 46a-64c(b)(1).
Nothing in this section prohibits a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property to take into consideration factors other than race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, age, lawful source of income, familial status, learning disability, or physical or mental disability or status as a veteran. Sec. 46a-64c(e).
Complaints alleging a violation of this section will be investigated within one hundred days of filing and a final administrative disposition will be made within one year of filing. If the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is unable to complete its investigation or make a final administrative determination within the time frames, it will notify the complainant and the respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so. Sec. 46a-64c(f). Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor. Sec. 46a-64c(g).