and Your Family
Queens Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is an estate planning document that affects a person's affairs while he (or she) is still living. If you execute a power of attorney, you give another person, referred to as your agent, the power to act for you when you are unable to. When an agent acts under the authority of a power of attorney, the actions of the agent are binding on you. For example, you want to sell your car, but you will be out of town for several weeks. You can execute a document granting a friend the power to sell the car on your behalf. If your friend makes a bad deal and sells the car for a below market price, you are stuck with that deal. In order to ensure that your power of attorney is drafted in a manner that is consistent with your intentions, discuss the matter with a Queens power of attorney lawyer who has the skill and experience to make sure that the document is properly drafted and executed.Authority granted in a power of attorney
There are a variety of reasons for executing a power of attorney. You can execute a limited power of attorney that gives the agent the authority to perform a specific act such as selling a car, selling real estate, or entering into a contract. When the act is completed, the power of attorney will end. You can also grant your agent the authority to perform a variety of financial activities if you are not available. Again, you can still be quite specific and list which financial transactions and activities your agent has the authority to complete, under what circumstances, and when the authority ends.
As a Queens power of attorney lawyer will explain, regardless of whether the authority granted in a power of attorney, a power of attorney typically ends if the principal becomes incapacitated. The exception to this rule is if the power of attorney is durable. A durable power of attorney does not end when the principal becomes incapacitated. This is powerful because if you have a durable power of attorney for finances, then your agent will have the right to make decisions for you in the event you become mentally incapacitated in an accident or due to a medical condition. You can also have a power of attorney for heathcare or a healthcare proxy that will give your healthcare agent the authority to make medical decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated.
If you do not have a durable power of attorney for finances and a healthcare proxy and you become incapacitated in an accident or due to an illness, then no one will have the legal authority to act for you. While your spouse may have the right to make some financial and medical decisions, he or she will not have the power to make every decision. This is particularly so if there is a disagreement among family members, or a disagreement between family members and medical staff as to who to proceed with medical care. Discuss with a power of attorney lawyer in Queens the best course of action for ensure that your wishes will be honored should you be unable to communicate and act for yourself.Terminating a power of attorney
Your power of attorney will be terminated under the following circumstances:
- The date indicated in the document
- The happening of event indicated in the document
- When you revoke it
- Your death
- If the power of attorney is not durable, when you become incapacitated
A power of attorney is a complicated and powerful document. It can have significant effect on your finances and other aspects of your life. Do not leave the drafting of such a document in the hands of someone who is not experienced in this specific area of the law. The power of attorney lawyers serving Queens at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience drafting custom powers of attorney for New York clients. We also have extensive experience representing clients in other matters related to estate planning, elder law, and probate. Contact us at 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.