New York Power of Attorney

New York power of attorney forms ask you to assign an individual you wish to give powers to. This person becomes your agent. Your agent can be your spouse or any person you trust well enough to carry out the power of the particular New York power of attorney. These forms can be found at Legal Zoom and in most cases do not need the help of an attorney to fill out. There are, however, the durable powers of attorney you may want to ask your New York estate planning attorney for help with.

The durable powers or attorney are the ones that take care of you when your mental capacities begin to go. They are a legal way of allowing someone else to pay your bills and make health decisions for you. After you have lost your mental capacity is not the time to find out your powers of attorney are invalid. That is why we suggest having them either prepared, or at least looked at, by a lawyer.


Another type of durable power of attorney are the springing ones. A springing durable power of attorney is one you fill out, file away and hope you never have to use. If you are ever in an accident that causes you to be unable to made decisions this power of attorney becomes effective immediately and allows your agent to start taking care of your health and financial concerns. It is recommended that two, possibly three, forms be used for these powers of attorney. You should have a New York springing durable medical power of attorney and a New York springing durable financial power of attorney. A health care directive can be added the the medical power of attorney giving precise instructions for your health care.


The non-durable powers of attorney are the common ones used for selling vehicle, signing real estate deeds and granting authority for minor children. Non-durable, or normal powers of attorney go into effect immediately. These are normally the special or limited type such as a New York power of attorney for minor children. This would allow a baby sitter, or day care, to authorize medical attention for your child, but they could not sign a property deed of sale or take money out of your bank account. A general power of attorney would allow all of these things and more, so be careful with these. Make sure your agent is someone you trust completely.


General powers of attorney are also used in an estate plan, usually assigning a spouse as the agent. It is unlikely this would be used, but if you really did need it, it would need to already be filled out and effective. If you were out of town and needed funds withdrawn from a certain account, that maybe you had from before your marriage and your spouse is not listed, this would allow the funds to be withdrawn. A general power of attorney grants a very wide range of powers so be very careful using it.


Divorce brings with it many changes to an estate plan, including your power of attorney forms. A New York power of attorney document stays in effect after a divorce, so if your agent is a spouse, it needs to be changed. When you file for the divorce is the best time to change these.


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--by Beth Heikkinen
Marquette, Michigan
I just want to thank you for this site. It answered my questions. I think many people that do research on the net take it for granted and when they find what they are looking for they forget "someone put time, money, etc into providing me with this information."

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