Jun 14, 2021

New York Releases New Power of Attorney

By Lauren I. Mechaly, Esq.

On June 13, 2021, New York’s new Power of Attorney law went into effect. Prior Powers of Attorney are not invalidated by the new law, but the old form can no longer be used.

The Power of Attorney is a document that appoints an agent to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of the principal when the principal can no longer make his or her own decisions.  The execution of a valid Power of Attorney can negate the need for a legal guardianship.

The prior form, the result of a 2009 change in the law, was complex to draft and execute, making it difficult for people to understand and use. The law required that the form track the statute exactly, which has now been changed so that the new form need only substantially conform to the statutory form. 

The new law does away with the requirement for a separate Statutory Gifts Rider so that everything, including gift-giving authority, is included in one document (subject to the modifications included). Without an express power to gift under the new law, the agent may gift up to $5,000 in a calendar year, which is far more expansive than the $500 per year previously permitted.

In addition, the principal now has the ability to direct a third party to sign on his or her behalf, which is extremely important for individuals with mental capacity but significant physical disabilities.

If you have any questions or request additional information, please contact any member of Schenck, Price, Smith & King’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group: Shirley B. Whitenack, Regina M. Spielberg, Gary Mazart, Meredith L. Grocott, Basil O’Connor, Jordan Wassel and Lauren I. Mechaly.

DISCLAIMER: This Alert is designed to keep you aware of recent developments in the law. It is not intended to be legal advice, which can only be given after the attorney understands the facts of a particular matter and the goals of the client.