Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document where you give an Agent the authority to act on your behalf as it pertains to handling your financial matters. The person who gives the authority is known as the Principal and the person who receives the authority is known as the Agent or Attorney-in-Fact.
A Power of Attorney is a critical estate planning document that is often overlooked by individuals when the make a Will or otherwise are planning their estate. It is recommended that you sign a Power of Attorney that will give a trusted loved-one or friend the power to act on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated. Otherwise, in the event that you are no longer able to see after your own financial affairs, your loved ones will have to start a court action to be appointed as your legal guardian and can only handle your finances once they are appointed.
A Power of Attorney is also utilized in other situations where the Principal does have capacity to make financial decisions. For example, it may be convenient to give someone the authority to handle a particular financial transaction on your behalf. A Power of Attorney can be drafted specifically to meet your needs and can have an expiration date and specific instructions and limitations on the Agent’s authority. The more specific the Power that is granted, the less likely it is that the Power of Attorney will be abused by your agent.
You can choose what types of powers to grant your agent. New York State has specific requirements for a Power of Attorney to be valid. It is recommended that a Power of Attorney be drafted and signed under the supervision of a lawyer. Please call an Danziger Legal PLLC today to discuss the drafting of a customized Power of Attorney to meet your needs.