What You Must Know About New York State Power of Attorney Changes

New rules could impact your current power of attorney document or the process you consider as you create a NY power of attorney for the first time. If you have questions about these changes and how they might affect your estate planning, schedule a time to speak with a New York estate planning attorney on the East End of Long Island as soon as possible.

Understanding Reasons to Use a Power of Attorney

If you become incapacitated or in any way unable to speak for yourself, have you appointed someone in the legal role of taking over this responsibility for you? Do you have a person to manage your financial affairs if you cannot make decisions independently? If you have not taken these critical steps and documented them with a NY estate planning attorney’s help, now is the time.
Failing to appoint someone to step in for this vital role could cause issues for you and your loved ones in the event of an unexpected problem or disability. You can decide which powers and circumstances allow your agent to act, so it’s important to document these wishes in advance.

What’s Changing with the NY Power of Attorney Law?

Assembly Bill A5630A aims to simplify the document creation and execution process concerning a power of attorney in NY. Starting on June 13, 2021, these new rules will be in effect. There are several aspects of this process that will now be different:

1- In the past, anyone writing and signing a power of attorney had to use a separate rider for statutory gifts. That requirement is being retired. Making gifts as a power of attorney agent will need to be listed under the modifications section within the NY power of attorney document itself. If your NY power of attorney fails to declare the power to gift for the agent, up to $5,000 per year can be gifted to other people on behalf of the document creator without further approval required.
2- If the principal, or the person signing the document, cannot do so physically, a third party is eligible to sign in the presence of that principal person.
3-Institutions now have a smaller scope for rejecting a power of attorney document; if they unreasonably reject a document submitted to them by a principal or an agent, they can be subjected to court penalties. If a bank or other institution has questions regarding the validity of the New York power of attorney or powers granted to the agent, they can request an attorney opinion letter or require certification of facts from that agent.
4- Possible recipients of gifts associated with an executed power of attorney cannot also serve as witnesses to the execution of a power of attorney document.
5- Finally, a power of attorney agent should keep good records for any completed transactions on behalf of the principal.
6- Although a separate power of attorney would be required to execute healthcare decisions, a New York power of attorney agent has the right to get information associated with health care financial issues such as expenses or benefits.

One of the leading reasons the New York legislature is revising these rules is that past iterations of the law became difficult for agents and principals to deal with in practice. Those prior limitations’ goal was to protect the principal’s intentions and needs, but some of them hindered the ease and execution of a power of attorney document.

While you might have the general idea of what you want to include or amend in your power of attorney, make sure an estate planning lawyer carefully reviews this document. Consulting with an estate planning attorney on the East End of Long Island will give you peace of mind that your document accomplishes what you set out to accomplish. If your agent is called to serve in this role sooner than you expect, your NY estate planning lawyer can help you draft this document so that your chosen agent can step in quickly and have a clear understanding of your intentions in the document.

How Does This Affect My Current Power of Attorney?

An existing document already drafted is still valid under the new laws, but as always, it’s a good idea to review your POA with the help of a NY estate planning lawyer. As the law and your life change, so too should your power of attorney. You might also choose to change the person appointed in the role of attorney-in-fact on your POA; speak to a NY estate planning lawyer about how to revoke your previous document and update your new one. A trust and estate attorney on the East End of Long Island can answer many of your most common questions associated with a POA document.

Do You Have Questions About the New York State Power of Attorney Changes? Sheryll Law, P.C. Has Answers

Are you on the East End of Long Island and need more support in understanding the changes to New York’s power of attorney law? If you have questions about the implications of these New York state power of attorney changes, the experienced estate planning team at Sheryll Law, P.C. can help. Founded by estate planning attorney Jay Sheryll, Sheryll Law, P.C. believes in providing exceptional customer service. We educate our clients on the East End of Long Island about all aspects of estate planning — or as we call it, “legacy planning.”
Our committed law team has extensive certification in New York estate planning, and we tailor every estate plan to meet each client’s unique needs and desires. We’re committed to helping you create a comprehensive plan that allows you to feel confident in your end-of-life goals. Set up a consultation today to learn more about your choices.

Contact Sheryll Law, P.C. at (631) 506-8440 or fill out the form to schedule a consultation.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction

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