Effective July 1, 2014, the Iowa Uniform Power of Attorney Act became effective. As opposed to the previous law, the new Act provides detailed provisions regarding the setup and operation of a Power of Attorney and the rights and duties of principals (the person who sets up the Power of Attorney), agents (the person who will act on behalf of the principal), and other third parties.

revised power of attorney act iowaThe purpose of the Act is to further the use of a Power of Attorney to avoid the need for a setup of a formal court supervised conservatorship. Another purpose of the Act is to attempt to prevent Power of Attorney abuse, identify Power of Attorney abuse, and provide remedies for Power of Attorney abuse.

The new Act does not affect any Powers of Attorney documents executed prior to July 1, 2014. Such documents will continue to be valid. An agent’s authority and duties under a Power of Attorney executed prior to July 1, 2014, are interpreted under Iowa law that was in effect when the Power was signed. However, the provisions of the new Act dealing with matters other than the meaning and effect of the Power of Attorney will apply to Power of Attorneys created before July 1, 2014. At this time there is no need to redraft a Power of Attorney executed before July 1, 2014, unless an individual desires to make a change to the provisions of the Power of Attorney.

The Act provides for a statutory form which is designed to be understood by lay persons. It is our experience in most situations that we are required to make substantial revisions to the statutory form to meet the needs and desires of our clients.

If you have any questions about the new Act or if you desire to make changes to your current Power of Attorney, please contact our office to discuss the matter in more detail. Be advised that both my partner, Ned P. Miller, and myself, have attended continuing legal education classes regarding the provisions of the new Act.

by James D. Beatty