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New York Power of Attorney Lawyer

As defined by New York Law, the power of Attorney is a document, known as the Principal, appoints a person to act on their behalf in some or many circumstances. That person is then considered a legal Agent. It was formally known as an attorney-in-fact, but now it is an Agent.

There is a statute to be followed, a statutory form that can be picked up from a stationery store or a New York power of attorney lawyer can print one out. The document must be signed and acknowledged before a Notary Public. If a person is authorizing the making of gifts by an Agent, two witnesses will also be needed. Planning to appoint someone as power of attorney is a serious decision. A distinguished trusts and estates lawyer can help you choose the person that is right for your future.

Execution Requirements

Responsibilities of being granted Power of Attorney include doing whatever needs to be done for the “Principal,” within the law, and to do these tasks in the best interests of the Principal.  An individual can still make their own decisions, but they are granting the right to somebody else to make decisions when they are not available or not able to because of their mental or physical condition. Power of Attorney dies with the death of a Principal. It does not have any effect after the death of the Principal.

The Principal has to sign the document (they may have to initial certain portions as well) appointing the Agent, and the appointed person (“Agent”) must sign the document acknowledging their appointment as Agent under the Power of Attorneys before a Notary Public. The Agent need not sign at the same time as the Principal. If gifts are indicated in the Power of Attorney, two witnesses will be required as well as a Notary Public.

Factors of Power of Attorney

There is no such thing as a Power of Attorney over a minor. Minors cannot grant Powers of Attorney. As far as any incapacitated person, they cannot bestow that Power if they are physically or mentally incapacitated at the time. However, if a person granted an individual Power of Attorney and later becomes incapacitated, the Agent could act on their behalf at that time.

A person may not recognize how serious of a document it is, and if not prepared correctly, when the person becomes incompetent and cannot redo it, they are left without a valid Power of Attorney which could require that a Guardian be appointed for that person. People should be looking for someone who has experience when selecting a New York power of attorney lawyer to handle their Power of Attorney designation.

Role of a Lawyer

A New York power of attorney lawyer will prepare the Power of Attorney document. They will advise the Principal when granting the Power of Attorney that it is a very serious document that they are giving the right to somebody else to have access to their property. The lawyer will draft the document to make sure it complies with the Statute, and when prepared properly, people who are relying on the Power of Attorney will accept it and will not reject it. The Agent will be able to walk into a bank with it and withdraw funds for the benefit of the Principal.

The bank officer may deny the Agent access to those funds if the Power of Attorney is not done correctly. An experienced lawyer will prepare the document correctly, in accordance with the terms of the Statute, and will see that it is signed in the right place in the presence of a Notary Public, and that the person who is receiving it also signs correctly before a Notary Public.

The attorney will advise their client that the time to do a Power of Attorney is while they are competent. As people get older, they very often lose their competency. That is why they do a Durable Power of Attorney which continues notwithstanding that the Principal may become incompetent. The benefit is that it will be done correctly. The Principal will be advised as to how much authority to give the Agent; basically what the Agent can and cannot do; and the Principal will hopefully make a correct selection of the proper party to appoint and grant power as their Agent.