Nassau County Attorney-in-Fact

Like a will or a trust, a power of attorney is an estate planning document. With a power attorney you give another person the power to act for you. You are referred to as the principal while the person to whom you give power to is called your "attorney-in-fact." The purpose of a power of attorney is to allow someone else to act for you when you cannot. For example, if you are ill or if you are out-of-town. A power attorney can be used for financial affairs such as handling banking matters, or for personal matters, such as health care. Naming someone as your attorney-in-fact gives that person a significant amount of power of your affairs, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney to draft and execute your power of attorney. An experienced Nassau County power of attorney lawyer can not only help you determine the type of power of attorney that is appropriate for your circumstances, but can also make sure that it is properly drafted and executed.

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Types of power of attorney

There are 4 main types of powers of attorney: limited, general, durable and springing. A limited power of attorney involves giving the attorney-in-fact power for a specific purpose only. Once the purpose has been accomplished the power of attorney is no longer valid. In contrast with a general power of attorney the attorney-in-fact has a much more broad authority to act for the principal. A general power of attorney ends when the principal dies, becomes incapacitated or withdraws the authority. The difference between a power of attorney that is durable and one that is no is that a durable power of attorney remains effective even after the principle becomes incapacitated, while a non-durable power of attorney would end. A springing power of attorney is a specific type of durable power of attorney that becomes effective only when the principal becomes incapacitated.

Attorney-in-fact powers

You can give your attorney limited powers or broad powers when you create your power of attorney. Examples of authority that you can give your attorney-in-fact include:

  • Pay your ever day expenses including your utility bills, credit card bills, and other bills
  • Manage your house and other real property, including buying and selling real estate
  • Pay your federal, state and local income taxes and property taxes
  • Manage your financial accounts including your bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement accounts
  • Manage your small business
  • Hire professionals on your behalf such as an attorney, accountant, and investment advisors
  • Collect your government benefits such as Social Security and Medicare
  • Consent to or refuse particular medical treatments such as blood transfusions, surgery, and dialysis
  • Consent to or refuse life extending procedures such as the use of a feeding tube and CPR
  • Make decisions about organ donation
  • Become your conservator or guardian
Ending the authority given in a power of attorney

In general the authority given in a power of attorney ends when the principal dies, the principal becomes incapacitated, the principal rescinds the power of attorney, the purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished, or when the person named in the power of attorney is no longer willing or able to act as the attorney-in-fact.

Nassau County estate planning lawyer

The consequences of failing to appoint an attorney-in-fact can be significant. If you are needed to execute a document or perform some other legal obligation and you are unavailable then there may be legal or financial consequences if you have not appointed anyone to act for you. As you consider how to plan for your future and the possibility that at some point you may become incapacitated due to an illness or accident, it is important to consult someone with experience who understands the legal ramifications of appointing an attorney-in-fact. In addition, as with all of your estate planning documents, you should periodically review your choice for your attorney-in-fact the person you nominate is willing and able to take on the responsibility. To learn more about the advantages of a durable power of attorney as well as other estate planning tools, contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We will help you develop an overall estate plan that reflects your individual goals. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your estate plan.

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