Power of Attorney Syosset, NY
A legal document appointing a trusted individual to act on behalf of someone else
A power of attorney (POA) refers to a legal document appointing a trusted individual to act on behalf of an individual (principal) who is unable to make important legal and financial decisions on their own behalf. This person is referred to as the agent. Suppose, for example, a person suffers a severe stroke, leaving them unable to communicate or care for themselves. A POA designates an individual to act as the authority on matters such as finances, asset management or legal matters.
Whether health issues or a severe accident have left you unable to manage your affairs, having a valid power of attorney document will ensure your agent is the person of your choosing and has the necessary information and authority to perform their duties if needed. Our estate planning lawyers at Fratello Law understand these conversations can be stressful. You may never need a power of attorney, but taking precautionary measures protects your assets and wishes, if you do. Speak with one of our experienced attorneys about the best legal actions for your situation.
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
Under New York law, all POAs are durable by default unless otherwise stated explicitly in your POA document. This means that the POA becomes effective the moment that you sign it and the POA continues to be effective even if you become incapacitated.
Authority of the Agent Under a Power of Attorney
The Power of Attorney designates an agent to manage the financial and business affairs of the principal. For business owners, this document is critical to the well-being of their property and wealth. The following are some aspects a POA has control over:
- Paying bills
- Selling property
- Filing and paying taxes
- Managing Medicare and Social Security benefits
- Controlling retirement accounts
- Processing bank and credit card transactions
- Withdrawing money from accounts
Regardless of your current stage of life, taking the time to designate a power of attorney will protect your wishes and property in the event of a severe accident. Speak with your attorney about drafting a power of attorney document.
Power of Attorney vs. Health Care Proxy: What Is the Difference?
While both a power of attorney and a health care proxy grants an individual the authority to make decisions on your behalf, there are major differences between these legal documents everyone needs to keep in mind when creating their estate plan. As stated in the previous section, a power of attorney appoints authority for financial and legal decisions to an individual of your choosing—as long as they meet the legal requirements.
The main purpose of a health care proxy is to appoint someone with the power to make medical decisions on your behalf in case you cannot communicate or make healthcare choices for yourself. Your health care proxy should be someone who understands your wishes and values regarding medical treatment, as they will be called upon to make decisions that align with your beliefs and preferences. Both documents are vital components of a proper estate plan and ensure your interests are protected in the event of your incapacitation.
Choosing Your Power of Attorney and Signing Requirements
While a power of attorney is a vital tool, there are significant responsibilities the agent must be able to perform. While you may have certain people in mind, consider a few requirements a POA document must meet under New York law:
- The principal and the agent must be at least 18 years old;
- The principal must sign in the presence of two witnesses; and
- The signatures of the principal and agent must be notarized.
After deciding who to designate as your power of attorney, you will want to review the information with your attorney and send a copy of the document to your agent so they may understand the expectations.
Why Hire a Lawyer for a Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney lawyers, also known as estate law attorneys, are professional and certified law experts with a comprehensive knowledge of the state and national laws that impact how the estate will be valued, categorized, distributed, and taxed after the person’s passing. In addition to enlightening you about the probate procedure, a lawyer for power of attorney can assist you with the following:
- Answering questions about the responsibilities designated to a power of attorney and what legal actions are in your best interest;
- Reviewing power of attorney documents;
- Developing a tailored estate plan using your precise requirements and presenting you with beneficial legal guidance; and
- Offering information from a highly qualified attorney with experience and connections within New York’s legal community.
Many individuals put off estate planning due to the misconception that only the wealthy have to be concerned. While you may never need someone to act on your behalf, having a designated power of attorney in an emergency can relieve stress and save your assets.
Work With Compassionate New York Power of Attorney Lawyers at Fratello Law
Ensuring your financial choices are secure and respected will relieve burdens from your and your family’s shoulders. Founded in 2012 by attorney Cheryl L. Fratello, Fratello Law has years of experience handling complex legal matters for New York residents. We are a client-oriented, small firm with a big heart. Our commitment to providing compassionate and responsive legal services builds trust with our clients.