Power of Attorney

Bronx Power-of-Attorney Lawyer Helping You Prepare for the Future

You can’t know the future, but you can prepare for it by working with a Bronx power-of-attorney lawyer to create financial powers-of-attorney to take care of situations that may arise in the future without any warning.

In the State of New York, a power-of-attorney lets you give someone else – your “agent” – the ability to make key business and financial decisions for you if you are incapacitated and cannot make those decisions yourself.

The law in New York permits you to create several different types of powers-of-attorney. Each power-of-attorney grants specific abilities and control to a designated individual (or a designated organization such as a bank).

However, in New York, a power-of-attorney is not the right document for giving an agent the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. The proper legal instrument for delegating medical decisions to an agent in New York is called a health care proxy.

Who Can Help You Establish a Power-of-Attorney?

The Bronx estate planning lawyers at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin are able to help you create a financial power-of-attorney, and we will also help you revoke a power-of-attorney when you choose to do so.

We help you prepare for the future by making certain that your long-term interests are effectively protected. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about financial powers-of-attorney and our other estate planning services by calling the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin at 718-306-9162.

How is a “Power-of-Attorney” Defined?

By definition, a “power-of-attorney” means the specific abilities or powers that one person (the “principal”) gives to an individual or organization called the “attorney-in-fact” or the “agent.”

A “general” power-of-attorney may include the ability of your agent to manage finances, handle business matters, buy and sell assets, and make other necessary financial and business decisions on your behalf.

What are the Several Types of Powers-of-Attorney in New York?

New York recognizes limited or “nondurable” powers-of-attorney, “durable” powers-of-attorney, and “springing” powers-of-attorney. A limited power-of-attorney goes into effect at once and stays effective until revoked or until the principal is deemed incompetent or passes away.

A limited power-of-attorney also gives your agent the ability to act on your behalf only in particular situations. For instance, if you’re in the armed forces and you are deployed while selling a home, a limited power-of-attorney can give a relative the power to conduct the sale.

A durable power-of-attorney lets an agent act for a principal even if the principal becomes incompetent or unable to make financial decisions. A durable power-of-attorney takes effect at once and remains in effect until the principal revokes the document or passes away.

What is a “Springing” Power-of-Attorney?

A “springing” power-of-attorney takes effect only after a particular event happens, such as the principal becoming incapacitated or otherwise incompetent or unable to make decisions.

A springing power-of-attorney usually provides that the principal’s doctor will determine if the principal has the competency to manage his or her affairs. Springing powers-of-attorney stay effective until the principal dies or until a court revokes the document.

Do You Have to Use a Standard Form?

The State of New York has approved standardized statutory forms for durable, nondurable, and springing powers-of-attorney, so New Yorkers may trust these statutory “short forms” as legally valid.

You’re not required to use a statutory short form to create a power-of-attorney, but all powers-of-attorney in New York State must be:

  1. printed or typed legibly and clearly in at least 12-point type
  2. dated and signed by a principal with capacity, with the signature witnessed and notarized
  3. dated and signed by an agent, with the signature witnessed and notarized
  4. include the “Caution to the Principal” found in the statutory short form
  5. include the “Important Information for the Agent” found in the statutory short form

How Should You Select an Agent?

Because of the potential for abuse, choosing someone to act as your agent is a decision that cannot be made in haste. Before you name an agent, talk with us at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin. We can offer you objective advice while guarding your long-term best interests.

Dishonest agents have been known to use powers-of-attorney to transfer a principal’s assets to themselves, so you must name someone who is entirely trustworthy and require that person to provide complete and periodic reports to you or to a third party.

No agency of the government or officer of the court monitors agents acting pursuant to powers-of-attorney. That is the responsibility of the principal.

You’re not required to file a power-of-attorney with any court or government agency or office in New York unless it is being used in a real estate transaction. However, if you file a power-of-attorney in your County Clerk’s office, you can get additional “certified” copies for a small fee.

Are Agents Compensated?

If you choose, your agent may be compensated, but if you do not specifically authorize compensation, your agent will be entitled to reimbursement only for reasonable out-of-pocket costs incurred in the fulfillment of his or her duties.

You may state that your agent is to be paid “reasonable compensation,” or you can specify an amount or even an hourly rate of compensation.

You may revoke a power-of-attorney by delivering a written, signed, and dated revocation to your agent or agents and to any third party that may have received, retained, or acted upon the power-of-attorney. If you need to revoke a power-of-attorney, have your lawyer help.

A financial power-of-attorney that was executed validly in another state is valid in the State of New York.

The Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin Can Help

Bronx power-of-attorney lawyer Thomas J. Lavin works with individuals, families, and business owners in the Bronx and across the state to create powers-of-attorney and other important estate planning documents. He has practiced law in the State of New York for over thirty-five years.

Attorney Thomas J. Lavin has represented more than five thousand clients in that time while establishing a reputation for professional excellence and remarkable client service.

In the Bronx, the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin are located at 3561 East Tremont Avenue and at 2980 Bruckner Boulevard.

The Time to Learn More is Now

We provide a variety of proven and effective estate planning services, and we ensure that estate plans express each client’s instructions and wishes in a clear, easily-understood manner.

To create a financial power-of-attorney or to learn more, reach out to the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin at 718-306-9162 – or complete the contact form on this website – and schedule a free, confidential meeting to discuss your financial and legal concerns and needs, you can also hire Bronx personal injury attorney.