A new technical amendments law, effective September 12, 2010, corrects unintended problems created by New York’s Power of Attorney (POA) law that went into effect on September 1, 2009.
The major changes are:
- Retroactive application of the technical changes to September 1, 2009.
- Execution of a new power of attorney will not automatically revoke an existing power of attorney.
- Limits an agent’s authority to make customary gifts under the “personal and family maintenance” provision to a maximum of $500 per year in the aggregate for all donees.
- Other commonly used powers of attorneys that are not considered customary for estate and financial planning (for example, for certain business or commercial purposes, or governmental agency forms, or a form utilized by a real estate broker) need not comply with the requirements of the new law.
- A New York power of attorney executed by a New York State domiciliary while outside New York is valid. A power of attorney executed in the State of New York by a domiciliary of another state or jurisdiction in compliance with the law of that state or jurisdiction or the laws of the State of New York is valid in the State of New York.
- Greater latitude for principals in acquiring requested records from agents.
- Minor, non-substantive variations in wording otherwise required by New York statute will not necessarily render the forms invalid.
- The notary may also serve as one of the witnesses for the “Statutory Gifts Rider.”
A POA is a document that an individual signs to give another person – an “agent,” usually a relative or trusted friend – the legal authority to handle financial matters on his or her behalf. POAs are commonly used to purchase property, enter into contracts, and oversee the accounts of elderly family members.