Even with a comprehensive estate plan in place, situations may arise during your lifetime that require another person to make legal decisions on your behalf. Without a properly executed power of attorney (“POA”) granting authority to the person you would like to make those decisions, you have no control over who will act as your agent in the event you are incapacitated. The Albany-based law firm of Pierro, Connor & Strauss are among New York’s most experienced estate planning lawyers. We encourage everyone to learn more about the value of a POA and execute one of their own.

What is a Power of Attorney?

Through a Power of Attorney (also referred to as a “POA”), you as the “Principal” can appoint another individual to transact business in your name. A General Power of Attorney gives that “agent,” also known as your “Attorney-in- Fact,” the authority to make banking, real estate, and all other financial transactions in your name. Without it, your spouse or family member would be unable to speak to your mortgage holder, credit card companies, utility providers, and others regarding accounts held in only your name. You can delegate broad authority to your agent to take all possible actions on your behalf or limit their authority to only specific actions.

New York POA Statutory Short Form

On June 13, 2021, New York State amended the laws governing Powers of Attorney.  Any POA executed on or past that date requires the new form. Some of the updates to the NY POA include the following:

Louis W. Pierro
Aaron E. Connor
Caryn B. Keppler
Frank E. Hemming III
Hanna R. Dameron
Kristen A. Peck

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Statutory Gift Rider

In New York, the current statutory short form for power of attorney includes a rider known as the Statutory Gifts Rider. This allows your agent increased authority to make gifts in excess of $500 per year, establish trusts, and do further asset protection and tax planning on your behalf. If, for example, you are incapacitated in a hospital or nursing home, the gift rider could enable your agent to protect your funds from being forfeited to the cost of care or move funds to qualify you for Medicaid coverage.

We continue to emphasize the need to make certain that your POA includes the Statutory Gifts Rider. The Statutory Gifts Rider can be customized to direct the manner of making gifts and to designate the beneficiaries of the gifts.

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