How to Make a Power of Attorney in New York?
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How to Make a Power of Attorney in New York?

What's a power of attorney in New York? What's the purpose of a power of attorney? This article discusses the process of a power of attorney and how this document can help protect you and your loved ones! Keep reading to learn more!

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In New York, you can use a "Power of Attorney" (POA) to give someone the authority to make financial, legal, or medical decisions on your behalf. In this article, we will cover the basics of POAs in New York.

What is a Power of Attorney in New York?

A Power of Attorney, or POA, is a legal form that authorizes someone to make decisions on your behalf.  The person making the POA and giving up the authority is known as the "principal." The person who is receiving the right to make decisions is known as the "agent." A POA is useful in several situations. For example, if you have a sudden illness or injury and are unable to make decisions, a POA can grant someone you trust the authority to do so on your behalf. Without a POA, your family would need to go to court to have a guardian appointed, which could take significant time. In that situation the court would have authority to appoint whoever it felt was the appropriate person. In contrast, if you have a POA, then your choice is the person who acts as your agent. 

What Are the Requirements for a New York Power of Attorney?

To make a New York POA, you have to be at least 18 years of age and have the mental capacity to make the POA. Legal capacity refers to a person's ability to understand what a POA does and the consequences of making one. The POA must be signed in the presence of two witnesses. It must be notarized unless it is a health care proxy. New York law permits one of your witnesses to be a notary public. The person you are naming as an agent can't be a witness. This person must sign the POA to acknowledge that you are appointing them as an agent.

Types of New York Powers of Attorney

There are four kinds of POAs in New York. The first is a General Power of Attorney. A General POA grants the agent the right to act for you in all of your affairs. This could include your financial, legal, and even medical decisions. A General POA is usually terminated when the principal revokes it, when the principal becomes incapacitated, or when the person dies. 

In contrast, a Limited POA allows your agent to act for you only for a limited purpose. In other words, the agent will only be able to act on matters you specify, such as representing you during a real estate closing because you are unavailable. A Limited POA must have a clear expiration date or triggering event.

Then there is the Durable Power of Attorney. A Durable POA remains in effect - as in it does not expire - even if you become incapacitated. So, if you are in a car accident and are temporarily in a coma, the Durable POA allows your agent the right to make decisions for you. New York law presumes that all POAs are intended to be durable unless the document states otherwise.

A Health Care Proxy in New York is a kind of Durable POA. This kind of POA is limited to medical decisions only, which includes what kind of treatments you receive. Your Health Care Proxy can also consent or refuse medical treatments if you choose to give them that power.  

A Springing Power of Attorney in New York "springs" into effect when a certain event happens. So, if you are undergoing surgery, you could create a POA that goes into effect only in the event that there is a complication that renders you incapacitated. Another way this would work is if you are a service member who has a Springing POA that becomes effective whenever you are deployed to a war zone.

When Does a New York Power of Attorney Expire?

A New York Power of Attorney expires in accordance with the type of POA that you select. For example, a Springing Power of Attorney expires when the event that triggered the POA ends. A General POA terminates when you pass away or become incapacitated. A Durable POA continues indefinitely. You also have the right to revoke a POA.

Can You Make a New York Power of Attorney Online?

Yes, you can make a New York POA online. You can do this by downloading forms or by using FastWill.

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