In order to obtain legal authority to sign on behalf of another person, the principal (person giving you authority) must sign a Power of Attorney authorizing you to act as their attorney-in-fact or agent. The principal of the Power of Attorney can give you broad or narrow powers. A power of attorney is generally given when someone is ill, physically disabled, mentally incapacitated or unavailable. A Power of attorney in New York can be given to anyone who is over the age of 18 and mentally competent. A Power of Attorney may be given by a principal to a spouse, close family member, attorney or business manager authorizing them to conduct legal or financial business on the principal’s behalf.
Different Kinds of Powers of Attorney
In New York, a Springing Power of Attorney is used frequently. A Springing Power of Attorney becomes effective upon the condition of a certain event taking place. A Springing Power of Attorney is often used when a person becomes mentally incapacitated and can no longer make financial and legal decisions on their own behalf. The designated agent under the Power of Attorney has the power once the event has been triggered to manage the person’s legal, financial and/or personal affairs so that other family members won’t have to worry about their loved one’s well-being and legal affairs. A parent may wish to make an adult child their agent/attorney-in-fact or another family member.
Another type of Power of Attorney is a Nondurable Power of Attorney. With a Nondurable Power of Attorney, the agent has immediate authority to act on the principal’s behalf until the principal revoke’s the Power of Attorney, becomes incapacitated or passes away. Most people use a Nondurable Power of Attorney in connection with the sale or purchase of real estate when they are out of the country or unavailable.
A Durable Power of Attorney also gives the agent immediate authority to act and also allows the agent to act should the principal become mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions. The Durable Power of Attorney remains in effective until it is revoked or the principal passes away.
If you are a designated attorney-in-fact or agent under a New York Power of Attorney you have the power and authority to sign on behalf of the principal under the terms of the Power of Attorney. Your powers may be limited or general and may be triggered by a specific event depending on the type of Power of Attorney made by the principal.
Consulting with a Long Island Attorney
Questions and concerns regarding when you can sign and act on behalf of the principal or about the different types of activities you can engage in on behalf of the principal should be discussed with an experienced Long Island estate attorney. A Long Island estate attorney can also prepare the necessary Power of Attorney form and other estate planning documents.
If you wish to speak to a Long Island estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.