Table of Contents
- Download a New York Power of Attorney Template
- New York Power of Attorney Requirements
- Examples of Duties Handled
- Terms of the Document – Types of POAs
- Revoking a Power of Attorney
- Is this the same as a healthcare power of attorney?
1. Download a New York Power of Attorney Template
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2. New York Power of Attorney Requirements
In New York, a power of attorney, a legal document that states that a person, business, or financial institution can act in the place of a given person, is easy to execute. The state provides an official, standardized form that outlines every component required to make the document legal. The official form is called the Power of Attorney New York Statutory Short Form, codified under New York Consolidated Laws, General Obligations Law, section 5-1513.
The fiduciary named is called an agent, and the person whom the agent acts as a proxy for is called a principal.
While you can find many downloadable templates available online, or you may type or write out your own, using the officially-sanctioned form increases the likelihood that your document will be readily accepted when your agent is ready to execute it on its provisions. In New York, it is unlawful to refuse a power of attorney that is created using the official form. However, if you decide to draft a copy on your own, just be sure to stick by the provisions specified in the above-cited statute.
To comply with New York Consolidated Laws, General Obligations Law, section 5-1501B, your power of attorney must include:
- The dated and notarized signature of the principal, while he or she still has mental capacity
- The dated and notarized signature of the agent(s)
- The signature of two witnesses, one of which may be the attending notary public
- Content typed or printed “using letters which are legible or of clear type no less than twelve point in size, or, if in writing, a reasonable equivalent thereof.”
- Specific language required by statute, which are already included on the New York state form
Note: The principal or agent may authorize another person to sign and date the form. This is usually done in a fiduciary capacity, such as by an attorney. For the signature to be legal, the person signing the form must provide proof of such authorization, along with proper identification.
Power of Attorney PDF Sample
The power of attorney (POA) sample below gives “Agent” Bonita A Bowers the authority to make financial decisions in the event that “Principal” Jason T Evans is incapacitated. Bonita has the authority to handle issues dealing with Jason’s property, stocks, insurance, and business.New York Power of Attorney (Financial)
3. Examples of Duties Handled
- Real estate transactions
- Chattel and goods transactions
- Bond, share, and commodity transactions
- Banking transactions
- Business operating transactions
- Insurance transactions
- Estate transactions
- Claims and litigation
- Personal and family maintenance
- Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service
- Health care billing and payment matters; records, reports, and statements
- Retirement benefit transactions
- Tax matters
While there are many additional powers that may be assigned to an agent, these are simply examples of the most common duties performed on the behalf of the principal.
While many times a power of attorney may grant blanket authority over all reasonable duties, there are a few notable exceptions in the law, such as:
- Specific Powers: If the principal wishes to only grant authority to the agent with regard to one or a few specific duties, he or she may customize the power of attorney form in order to state such. The form can also be customized to add supplemental duties at the discretion of the principal.
- Gifting: If the principal wishes for the agent to make certain gifts on his or her behalf, an additional form is required and it must be attached to the power of attorney.
- Multiple Agents: The principal may appoint more than one agent. If he or she appoints two or more agents, the power of attorney must specify whether they are expected to work together or act separately. This is not to be confused with the appointment of an alternate agent, a person designated to take over the agent’s duties if he or she is unable or unwilling to act on the principal’s behalf.
- Real Estate: If a power of attorney is used so an agent can complete a real estate transaction on the principal’s behalf, a copy must be filed with the County Clerk’s office. This means that the document will become public record and it will be open to inspection. The County Clerk will provide certified copies of the power of attorney for a reasonable fee.
4. Terms of the Document – Types of POAs
Power of attorney forms in New York vary. The different ideations reflect the legal purpose and time covered by the document.
- A nondurable power of attorney is a limited form used for a particular transaction, such as the sale of personal or real property when the principal is unable to do so for his or herself. This does not always indicate incapacitation –the principal may be out of town or otherwise preoccupied. The transaction should be specified on the form.
- A durable power of attorney is set up so the agent can act on the behalf of the principal once he or she is deemed mentally or physically incapacitated. These forms take effect immediately and remain in effect until they are revoked or the principal dies. The law requires that such forms in New York must have the title, “Durable Power of Attorney, New York Statutory Short Form” in order to be considered legal.
- A springing power of attorney goes into effect at a later date, usually contingent upon a specific event, such as the incapacitation of the principal. It is usually precipitated by an affidavit provided by the principal’s primary physician stating his or her inability to make reasonable decisions for his or herself, though that is not required in New York for it to go into effect. These forms also stay in effect until the revocation by, or the death of, the principal.
5. Revoking a Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney in New York can be revoked at any time by the principal. In order to accomplish this, he or she must make such an acknowledgement in writing, and request the return of all copies of the prior power of attorney document. All financial institutions and banks should also be made aware of the fact that the power of attorney has been revoked, and a copy should be filed with the County Clerk’s office, if the original power of attorney had to be filed there to complete a specific transaction.
Changes in the Law
On September 1, 2009, the law was amended so that all prior powers of attorney were revoked unless otherwise specified by the principal. Because many principals were unaware of this, many powers of attorney were revoked unintentionally. Changes were made to the statute, which became effective on September 12, 2010, ensuring that all powers of attorney will stay in effect unless the principals decide to revoke them.
This was necessary because the 2009 law was so broad that it included all powers of attorney regardless of the context in which powers were granted. This means that it affected business and real estate transactions that the statute was not really meant to even address. As such, in 2010, section 5-1501C of the General Obligations Law was added to exclude these business-related powers of attorney from the statute.
6. Is this the same as a healthcare power of attorney?
In New York, the medical power of attorney form is called the “Health Care Proxy” and it specifically refers to the principal’s wishes regarding what should be done to care for him or her in the event of a severe illness or incapacitation when he or she cannot speak for his or herself. As New York Consolidated Laws, Public Health Law, section 2981 shows, the document must be signed and dated by the principal, as well as two witnesses at least 18 years of age, and only goes into effect once the principal is deemed to be incapacitated. New York Consolidated Laws, Public Health Law, section 2983 details how incapacitation is determined under the law.