Power of Attorney Form
What is Power of Attorney and why do I need it?
One important component of long-term planning is the power of attorney. Accepted in all states, the power of attorney gives on or more designess the ability to act on your behalf (as an agent). Various forms of the document exist, and while some may only grant the agent this ability during a sale of your home, other forms permit the agent to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf. Depending on the wording used in the document, the power may take effect immediately, or only once a certain event occurs, which is usually a determination that you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to mental or physical incapacity, or both.
What is NY General Power of Attorney Form?
A general durable power of attorney form gives a wide range of powers to a person (or organization) to act on your behalf. A general power of attorney is a useful tool if you plan to be out of the country and need someone to handle certain matters, or if you are physically or mentally incapable of making decisions for yourself. Some of these powers include handling business transactions, buying insurance, making gifts and the like. Oftentimes, however, a general power of attorney is included in an estate plan to ensure that you have a trusted designee to handle financial matters on your behalf.
What is a Special Power of Attorney?
By signing a special power of attorney you will actually be able to specify exactly what powers you grant to the agent of your choice. Often used when a person is not able to handle certain matters due to other commitments and/or health reasons, a special power of attorney is a type of power of attorney commonly used to delegate tasks such as selling or managing property, collecting debts owed, and similar matters.
What is a Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney?
A health care power of attorney gives your agent the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are incapable of making them yourself. This often requires you to be deemed unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make your own decisions rationally. While a health care POA is not the same thing as a living will, some states will allow you to include your preference regarding being kept on life support. Some states will even allow you to combine parts of both documents into what is known as an advanced health care directive.
What is a Durable Power of Attorney and how is it different from regular NY power of Attorney?
A regular power of attorney would normally be cancelled under four circumstances: 1) if you intentionally revoke it, 2) if it has a date of expiration, 3) if you pass away, or 4) if you become mentally incompetent (as deemed by a court). The durable power of attorney, however, allows the agent to continue their duties after the principle becomes mentally incompetent.
How Can I Create NY Durable Power of Attorney myself?
By its nature, a health care power of attorney will always be a durable POA. To make any other power of attorney durable, certain language must be used in the document.
Who do I appoint as Agent to act on my behalf on my Power of attorney?
Trust is obviously a major factor that should be considered when selecting and designating an agent for your powers of attorney. Whether the agent is a friend, family member, co-worker, organization or attorney, you absolutely must make sure that the agent of your choice will act in your best interest, respect your wishes, and will not abuse any power granted to him/her.
My dad has Dementia, can he sign a power of attorney now or is it too late?
A POA will only be valid if you are legally deemed mentally competent at the time of signing. Having a doctor verify that you indeed are of sound mind will usually dispel any claims of the contrary.
Making sure that you have agents in place to handle your medical and financial matters is a critical part of long-term planning. If you or a loved one are looking to create powers of attorney, we highly recommend that you consult with a licensed estate planning attorney who can provide peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out by people whom you trust.