A New York power of attorney is a form in which you can name someone to handle specific acts on your behalf, typically financial acts. If you were to become unable to manage your affairs while you are living and you do not have a power of attorney, a loved one will have to go through a lengthy and expensive guardianship proceeding in order to handle your affairs. Powers of attorney are typically used in the event of a medical problem, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or an accident that prevents a person from handling his or her own affairs.
A power of attorney can be invaluable. However, clients are often reluctant to do a power of attorney. They may be afraid that they are giving up the right to handle their own affairs. They may not completely trust anyone to handle their affairs. They fear that they will be taken advantage of after executing the power of attorney.
However, it’s a misconception that once you sign a power of attorney you cannot handle your own affairs. You still handle your own affairs. You simply have named someone else who can handle them too in the event that you can no longer do so. For those who don’t want to give a power of attorney while they can still manage their own affairs, they may wish to execute a “springing” power of attorney. This springs into effect upon a specified event, such as a doctor signing a statement that says you are no longer capable of handling your affairs.
Almost everyone over the age of 18 should have a power of attorney. If you are interested in a power of attorney in New York, call the New York Estate Planning Attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444. We will be happy to assist you.