A power of attorney is a powerful estate planning document with which you as the principal give another person, referred to as your "attorney-in-fact," power to act for you under specific circumstances. You can use a power of attorney to accomplish different goals such as taking care of your financial matters in your absence, or making health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated and unable to communicate. Because of the potential serious financial and personal ramifications of appointing someone to be your attorney-in-fact, do not attempt to do so without first discussing the matter with an experienced Queens attorney-in-fact Lawyer who can help you determine which type of power of attorney is appropriate for your circumstances and make sure that it is properly drafted and executed.Types of powers of attorney
In New York, there are 4 main types of powers of attorney: limited, general, durable and springing.
- Limited power of attorney. With a limited power of attorney you give your attorney-in-fact the authority to act for you for only a very limited, specific purpose. The power of attorney document will specify the limited purpose of the power of attorney and when the authority ends.
- General power of attorney. In contrast to a limited power of attorney a general power of attorney gives your attorney-in-fact comprehensive authority to act for you. A general power of attorney is terminated when you rescind it, when you die or when you become incapacitated.
- Durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney can be either general or limited. However, a durable power of attorney remains in effect when you become incapacitated. Your attorney-in-fact will retain power under your durable power of attorney until your death unless you rescind it while you are not incapacitated.
- Springing power of attorney. A springing power of attorney becomes effective when a specific event occurs as stated in the power of attorney document. For example, you can state that it becomes effective only in the event that you become incapacitated. Your springing power of attorney should be very specific in describing the standard for you being considered incapacitated such that that power of attorney is triggered.
Before appointing an attorney-in-fact, discuss the rules about cancelling or revoking your power of attorney with an experienced Queens attorney-in-fact lawyer. Depending on the type of power of attorney and its purpose, it terminates upon the happening of at least of the following events:
- You die
- You become incapacitated (unless the power of attorney is durable)
- You rescind the power of attorney (there are formal ways to do this)
- The date stated in the power of attorney
- The purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished
- The person named in your power of attorney is no longer willing or able to act as your attorney-in-fact
As an attorney-in-fact in Queens will explain, the consequence of not appointing an attorney-in-fact is that no one will have the authority to act for you for certain matters related to your finances or your healthcare in the event you become incapacitated. As a result, the court will have to appoint someone to act on your behalf. This person may or may not be a family member, and this person may or may not be aware of your preferences.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
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 appointing an attorney-in-fact, contact an experienced attorney-in-fact attorney serving Queens at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. In addition to helping you create an effective power of attorney, we will also explain to you the benefits of an overall estate plan, as well as the pitfalls associated with probate. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.