A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that appoints a specific person to act on behalf of another. A POA thereby grants the agent or attorney-in-fact the power to act in the principal's place. The principal's property, finances, investments, and medical care may be subject to the agent's decision-making, which may be given broad or limited discretion.
The power of attorney is a crucial component of lifetime planning. All states recognize powers of attorney, but each has its own set of laws and procedures. A power of attorney grants one or more individuals the authority to act as your agent. The power may be applied generally or it may be restricted to a specific activity, such as concluding the sale of your home. Further, Depending on whose POA you choose, the decision-making authority of an attorney-in-fact takes effect at various periods.
What are the Limits to a Power of Attorney?
No power of attorney is enforceable in your state unless it is properly written, signed, and notarized. Additionally, for your POA form to be enforceable in court, you must be of sound mind when you sign it.
Any phrases that you believe should be clarified can be included in your POA document. If you're not sure how to do it or what words to use, hiring an attorney can help.
Will my Power of Attorney Expire?
A power of attorney's renewal used to be necessary for some states for the document to remain valid. Today, the majority of states allow you to sign a "durable" power of attorney, which is a legal document that lasts until your death or your revocation. However, you should regularly consult with your attorney to review your power of attorney, assess if your choice of agent still serves your needs, and find out whether changes to state law have an impact on your power of attorney. To reduce the possibility of former friends or spouses acting as agents in the future, some powers of attorney expressly include termination dates.
Choosing a Power of Attorney
Similar to the deed for a car or a house, a POA grants a large amount of ownership authority and obligation. In the instance of a medical POA, it is a question of life and death. And if you wind up with a mismanaged or abused durable POA, you can find yourself in financial difficulty or even declare bankruptcy. In order to ensure that your wishes are carried out as fully as possible, you should choose your agent carefully.
It is crucial to appoint a skilled and trustworthy person to act as your agent. Any errors made by your agent may be challenging to remedy because they will be made with the same legal authority that you would have. Even worse, there may be a risk of self-dealing depending on the scope of the authorities you grant. Your bank accounts may be accessible to an agent, who may also have the authority to give gifts, transfer money, and sell real estate.
Any competent adult, including a specialist like an attorney, accountant, or banker, may act as your agent. However, your agent could also be a member of your family, such as your spouse, a grown child, or another relative.
What to Include in Your Power of Attorney in New York State
A few of the essential components to include in your power of attorney document include:
Date of creation;
The start and expiration dates of your POA;
The names of you and your chosen agent;
Details scoping out the authority your agent will have;
Any clauses in those details regarding the authority given; and
You and your agent’s signatures.
To make your POA legally binding, sign and execute it in accordance with your state's laws. Typically, this entails notarizing or signing in front of witnesses.
Why Choose Tully Rinckey
You can draft your own power of attorney without the assistance of a lawyer. A lot of people opt to create their own general powers of attorney. However, if you anticipate it to be a more complicated document or are unclear about what to include, seeking advice from experienced legal counsel is highly recommended.
At Tully Rinckey, we have helped many individuals in New York draft their POA documents as well as assist with the signing, filing, and updating of these documents to ensure that there are no unforeseen clauses or issues that could cause you problems down the road.
Our Experienced Power of Attorney Lawyers are Available to Assist you Today
There are several kinds of POAs, each with its own function. Knowing what to include and what risks there are when establishing a POA is crucial to protecting your future health and estate. Our attorneys can help guide you through this process and make sure you can plan as best you can for the future you so desire.
To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our experienced team, contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 8885294543 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book your consultation online via the link below.
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