The new Power of Attorney statute is in effect, as of June 13, 2021. Signed into law late last year, it has been the subject of intense study by trusts and estates attorneys (and many others as well). The new Power of Attorney law makes many substantial changes to the old law. The old law, in effect since only 2009, was cumbersome and difficult to understand, navigate, and execute. The execution of the old form was frequently more involved than the execution of the client’s Will.  Even if everything was done perfectly, one frequently found financial institutions balking at accepting the power of attorney unless their own in-house form was used. The new law seeks to remedy these and other problems created by its predecessor.

Here is a link to The National Law Review and its useful summary of the new law. There are many other resources available on the internet, but all should warn the reader of the need for experienced counsel when contemplating granting a power of attorney to someone.

Finally, what is a power of attorney?   It is the grant of authority that allows an agent to act on a principal’s behalf in a wide variety of legal transactions. The power of attorney is among the most powerful (and dangerous) documents one can sign – it gives powers over your personal and financial affairs that are sweeping. It can also be a great benefit to provide for a loved one’s disability and avoiding the expense and delays that can be associated with its alternative, a guardianship under the Mental Hygiene Law. Many times in the distant past I advised a soldier to refrain from giving the power of attorney to a significant other, against standard Army and National Guard mobilization doctrine. Why?  I have seen too many instances of the soldier returning from overseas only to find his or her significant other gone along with the soldier’s bank account.

The National Law Review:  National Law Review NY State POA Changes