A Power of Attorney in New York is provided by the statutory provisions in Title 15 of the General Obligations Law (GOL Sec. 5-1501 et. seq). A Power of Attorney (“POA”) can be a very useful estate planning document during life by providing a means by which a person can delegate property management authority to an agent to be used in the event of disability or incapacity. Section 15-1501A of the GOL provides that a POA is considered to be durable and that it is not revoked or terminated if the principal becomes incapacitated.
There are numerous cases where an agent has abused his authority under a POA. Article 81 Guardianship proceedings often involve issues regarding the validity and proper use of a POA. Similarly, these types of issues can arise during the course of estate settlement. After an executor or administrator is appointed for a decedent’s estate the fiduciary may discover that someone improperly utilized a POA during the decedent’s lifetime. When this occurs estate litigation is commenced by the fiduciary to recover the decedent’s assets that were wrongfully taken or transferred by the use of the POA. Continue reading →