Family gatherings around the holidays can make it clear that a loved one will need assistance to maintain his or her independence, or may even require an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
Frequently, a New York power of attorney will be granted to friend or family member who agrees to help with an aging loved one’s affairs. Too often, neither the grantor (known as the principal), nor the grantee (known as the agent) have a proper understanding of the requirements, limitations and consequences of a power of attorney.
A power of attorney can be structured for a single purpose — such as disposing of a piece of property — or can grant broad powers to conduct business on a person’s behalf. It can also be limited to a specific time frame.
Additionally a Living Will is a document detailing a person’s desire as to whether or not to be maintained on life support. New York’s Health Care Proxy law provides a separate document that provides a health-care agent. And a durable power of attorney in New York will remain in effect if you become incapacitated.
In general, it is best to structure a power of attorney in such a way as to be limited beyond the scope of the desired task. Where problems frequently occur, is when a broad power of attorney is granted for a specific task, which can permit far greater uses than the principal intended.
In other cases, a power of attorney is not the best legal avenue to achieve the desired result. In all cases, the best course of action for protecting your rights is to contact a New York City probate attorney to discuss your individual needs and the available options.
New York City Probate Attorney Jules Martin Haas handles all types of probate cases, including Wills, estate planning, estate settlement, advanced directives and guardianship matters. Please call me at (212) 355-2575 for a free consultation to discuss your rights.