How to Get a Power of Attorney in New York

How to Get a Power of Attorney in New York

Jane Meggitt
 | 

In late December 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law simplifying the state’s power of attorney form. According to the New York State Bar Association, which backed the new law, the current form was too complex and difficult for individuals to use.

It also includes language to deter financial institutions from improperly rejecting power of attorney forms by allowing judges to impose penalties and legal fees on those institutions “unreasonably” refusing to accept valid power of attorney forms. The new law will go into effect in June 2021.

Power of Attorney

The legal document known as power of attorney gives the person specified as the agent in the instrument the ability to act for another person, known as the principal. The principal can grant the power of attorney to the agent for a specific period of time or for the rest of the principal’s life. They may also grant limited or broad authority to the agent to act on their behalf. Since the principal places complete trust in a power of attorney, the agent is often a spouse or relative.    

Once granted power of attorney, the agent may act on the principal’s behalf for all financial matters. A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. A general power of attorney conveys the ability to make similar financial decisions, but terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated.  

Official Forms

When filing for power of attorney in New York, is it wise to use the official forms. These forms are recognized by the entities with which you are conducting business. By using the official financial and medical forms, you should remain in compliance with state law.   

Another advantage: If you have questions about filling out or filing the forms, the answers are right there.  

Types of Power of Attorney

There are nine types of power of attorney in New York. Besides durable and general power of attorney, these include:

Limited Power of Attorney

This instrument is generally used for specific transactions. For instance, at a real estate closing, the person with a limited power of attorney acts as the principal’s proxy only for that particular circumstance.  

Medical Power of Attorney

In New York, the medical power of attorney is known as the health care proxy. It enables the person appointed by the principal to make medical decisions for them when they are unable to make such decisions themselves. Unlike other New York powers of attorney, the health care proxy does not require notarization but does require two witnesses to sign it.   

Minor Child Parent of Attorney

This legal document allows a caregiver to make decisions on behalf of a minor child if the parents are away and unreachable.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

This power of attorney grants the agent the authority to act for the principal in matters regarding real property ownership. It generally refers to the buying and selling of real estate for the principal.

Tax Power of Attorney

The agent, a tax professional, may represent the principal in any tax matters involving New York’s tax authority.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

The agent may represent the principal in the registration and titling of a vehicle with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Revocation of Power of Attorney

If the principal wants to revoke the power of attorney, it is necessary to file this form.  The agent must receive a copy of the form, along with any parties formerly relying on the agent as having power of attorney.

While you do not need a lawyer to obtain and file a power of attorney form, it is useful to seek legal counsel before doing so. One of our lawyers will ensure that the power of attorney meets your individual needs.

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

 
Jane Meggitt

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