The requirements for choosing and authorizing a power of attorney (POA) in New York state are relatively straightforward. A person with POA has the right to make financial decisions for individuals who can no longer make these decisions themselves.
The rules and regulations surrounding power of attorney differ from state to state. In this article, we’ll cover how they affect people in New York. Keep reading to find out more.
What Does Power of Attorney Mean?
A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes one person, the agent, to act for another person, known as the principal. Power of attorney usually comes into effect if the principal is incapacitated or cannot make their own decisions.
Power of attorney can give the agent broad legal authority or grant certain limited power in different situations. It may sometimes be used in legal transactions when a person cannot be physically present to sign legal documentation.
What are the different types of power of attorney in New York?
In New York, there are several different types of power of attorney. These are as follows:
- A nondurable power of attorney – This is usually used for one specific transaction when the principal cannot be present to sign legal documentation.
- A durable power of attorney – In this case, the agent may act on behalf of the principal when they are not mentally or physically competent enough to do so themselves. This kind of POA is effective immediately and until the principal revokes it or the principal dies.
- A springing power of attorney – This POA designation will come into effect in the future. People usually use this in the event of illness or disability. This kind also remains in effect until the principal’s death or a court revokes it.
Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney is an essential aspect of planning for your later years. It ensures that someone can make financial decisions for you if you ever lose the ability to make them yourself.
By planning your power of attorney, you make sure you give the responsibility to someone you trust to make the best decisions for you when you cannot.
What Are the Requirements for Power of Attorney in New York?
To ensure that your power of attorney is valid in New York, it must meet certain criteria set out in law. These are as follows:
- The principal has the mental capacity for making a POA – In the state of New York, the person who makes the POA must fully understand what they are doing and the consequences of it. If you are helping someone to create a POA and are unsure if they have the mental capacity, you can speak with an estate planning attorney to be sure.
- You must use a certain style of language – In New York, a POA document must contain statutory language.
- Witnesses – For a POA in New York to be legal, you must have witnesses to observe the signature process. You must select two people you haven’t named as agents within the POA for this process.
- Notarisation – You must sign a New York POA before a notary public. (Note: your notary public may act as one witness, meaning you only need one additional witness.)
Once you have made a POA in New York, we recommend storing one copy safely in your home, giving a copy to the agent, filing a copy with the Land Records Office, and perhaps giving one to your bank and other financial institutions.
Can a Person With Power of Attorney Make Medical Decisions?
No, in New York and across the US, there is a separate kind of power of attorney called medical power of attorney or health care proxy. A medical power of attorney has the legal right to make medical decisions and other decisions relating to an individual’s healthcare if said individual can no longer make them themselves.
The medical and financial POA would work together when the principal is incapacitated. For example, a health care proxy or medical POA would choose treatment options for the principal while the POA would decide whether or not the principal could afford them.
POA in New York: Factors to Remember
State laws on POA differ depending on where you are, so it is best to know how laws work where you live. In New York, you can create two kinds of POA as part of your estate planning; look at the differences between these two before you establish one.
If you’re looking to make a POA or medical POA and are unsure how to set one up, it’s also handy to get the correct legal advice. Preparing the correct paperwork and completing it without mistakes are also critical steps, so always check and double-check before submitting it.
Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned business and law blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable articles with the audience.