Power of Attorney
What is a Power of Attorney?
In New York, you are able to assign certain rights and powers to another person to act on your behalf. This document is called a Power of Attorney. You are considered a principal and the person you nominate is considered an agent. You are able to nominate more than one agent but you must determine if the agents must act together or on their own.
A Power of Attorney gives another person the power to act in your stead for things like: buying or selling property, handling banking transactions, bringing or defending lawsuits on your behalf, reconfiguring retirement or pension assets. You can choose which powers you want your agent to have and can have a very limited Power of Attorney or an agent that has all available powers.
In addition, an agent may have the power to make gifts on your behalf and may be compensated for their time.
What are the powers that I can assign?
You can allow another person to handle:
- Real estate transactions
- Chattel and goods transactions
- Bond, share and commodity transactions
- Banking transactions
- Business operating transactions
- Insurance transactions
- Estate transactions
- Claims and litigation
- Personal and family maintenance
- Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service
- Health care billing and payment matters; records, reports, and statements
- Retirement benefit transactions
- Tax matters
Why do I need a Power of Attorney?
Having a Power of Attorney is important as it allows another person to act in your stead if and when you are unable to do so. The need for a Power of Attorney is very fact specific and the document can be tailored to meet your very specific needs. Talk to an Attorney at Donnellan & Knussman, PLLC, about your specific needs and how a Power of Attorney can be carefully crafted to meet your individual needs.
Who needs to sign this document?
Both the principal and the agent need to sign this document.
What happens if I change my mind?
A Power of Attorney can be revoked. You will need to destroy the original document and advise anyone that has received a copy that the powers have been revoked. Keep a record of who has copies of the existing documents to make revocation easier.