What is a Power of Attorney in New York and why do I need one?

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A Power of Attorney (“POA”) is a written document wherein one individual (“Principal”) appoints another individual(s) as his or her “attorney-in-fact” or agent. The attorney-in-fact or agent is given authority to act on behalf of or in the place of the principal for purposes specified in the POA, typically for the purpose of handling financial affairs.  A POA is effective immediately unless stated otherwise.  The purpose of a POA is to permit one individual to delegate to another the authority to manage his or her day to day affairs such as banking (e.g., check writing), bond and stock transactions, real estate transactions, business transactions, among others. Having a Power of Attorney is important in the event of emergency or illness or when someone is away or on vacation.   It is also important to consider having a Power of Attorney can make gifts / transfers of the principal’s assets for estate tax planning and long term care planning purposes.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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