Suffolk County Power of Attorney Lawyer Providing Guidance to Clients Needing a Power of Attorney in New York
A Power of Attorney is an important document that can be used in the event an individual becomes incapacitated, allowing someone else to act on their behalf. However, there are a few key aspects that need to be considered before appointing someone as your agent. Learn how a power of attorney works in New York and how a power of attorney lawyer can help.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a document that gives authority for someone else to act on your behalf under certain circumstances. You (the principal) appoint another party (an agent) and authorize them to represent you and take certain actions if you are unable to be present due to illness or disability or cannot make decisions due to temporary or permanent incapacitation.
A Power of Attorney can be as specific or as broad as you wish. You can decide whether to give your agent broad legal authority over all your financial, legal, and property matters or restrict their authority to certain areas. In order for a Power of Attorney to be valid, it must be signed and dated by the principal in front of a Notary Public and fulfill certain requirements, such as being printed or typed in a legible font and including specific language.
What Are the Different Types of Power of Attorney Available in New York?
The most common types of Power of Attorney accepted in the state of New York include durable, non-durable, and springing power of attorney. Simply put, a durable power of attorney enables the agent to act on behalf of the principal for an indefinite amount of time, even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
A durable power of attorney begins the moment the document is signed and ends when the principal passes away or sooner if the principal chooses to cancel it. On the other hand, a springing power of attorney only takes effect after you have become mentally incapacitated, as determined by a physician. A nondurable power of attorney can be used for a specific transaction or for a determined amount of time, such as while the principal is traveling abroad and wishes to have an agent handle their financial matters or represent them in the closing of a real estate transaction.
It is up to you to decide when your agent’s authority to act on your behalf should begin, what exactly they can do on your behalf, and for how long. If you need help deciding which type of power of attorney is best for you, you may want to consult a power of attorney lawyer before taking any further action.
Is There a Difference Between a Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Proxy?
There are many different kinds of power of attorney, and sometimes the terms health care proxy and power of attorney are used as synonyms. However, it is important to understand that a healthcare proxy is only able to make medical decisions on your behalf after you’ve been deemed incapacitated by a physician – your healthcare proxy cannot make any financial decisions or represent you in any other way except for medical matters.
In that regard, a healthcare proxy and a medical power of attorney work in a similar way, but the same is not true for other types of power of attorney. You can choose to have one person act as your healthcare proxy and another person to handle your finances as your power of attorney agent. You can also choose to have your power of attorney go into effect immediately, while your healthcare proxy only becomes active once you are incapacitated. It is worth mentioning that both documents are equally useful and are important components of any estate plan.
Can I Appoint More Than One Agent in a Power of Attorney?
When writing your power of attorney, you may choose to appoint one or more agents to act on your behalf. If you choose to have more than one agent, you may want to specify whether each agent should work together to represent you or whether they are authorized to act separately.
Having more than one agent is a good idea because you can be sure that at least one of your agents will be available and willing to fulfill their role in case the other agents decline to act on your behalf. However, it is important to think carefully about whether they should work together or separately – there are advantages and disadvantages to both, such as the possibility of your agents facing disagreements and causing delays or inaction. Alternatively, you may choose to designate a substitute agent who can step in and take on the role in case your main agent is unavailable.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me Write a Power of Attorney?
While you are not required to work with an attorney in order to write a power of attorney form, it is strongly recommended to do so. Your attorney can not only walk you through the process of writing the document but can also help you make sure you include specific language to authorize your agent to do exactly what you wish without abusing their power. In addition, you may also be in the perfect position to discuss other important estate planning documents as well. The Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, PLLC, can help you write your power of attorney and take care of all your estate planning needs. Call 631-250-3698 to learn more.