Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney gives an individual the right to act on your behalf. There are four types of power of attorney documents. These include General Power of Attorney, which means the document comes to a close when the principal becomes incapacitated, revokes the agent for the power of attorney, or passes away. A Durable Power of Attorney enables the principal to maintain power even once the person becomes incapacitated. A Special Power of Attorney gives the agent specific limited powers within a specific area. Lastly, a Springing Durable Power of Attorney comes into place when a specific event causes the principal to become incapacitated.

Why do I need a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney allows the principal to appoint a specific agent who will act on their behalf in the case that they become incapacitated. This individual will prioritize the needs and preferences of the principal by making imperative decisions. These decisions pertain to finances, healthcare, recommending a guardian, etc. This ensures that your loved one’s wishes are met through the guarantee of financial security and effective healthcare choices when the principal becomes unable to make the decisions on their own. 

What is a Special Power of Attorney?

A Special Power of Attorney can also be called a Limited Power of Attorney because it grants the agent specific powers which can be applied only to a certain area. A common example pertains to a Specific Power of Attorney that grants the agent the ability to sell a home or real estate that was owned by the principal. 

What is a Durable Power of Attorney and how is it different from regular NY Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney is different from a regular NY Power of Attorney. The Durable Power of Attorney gives the agent the ability to act for the principal even after the principal becomes incapacitated. On the contrary, a regular NY Power of Attorney simply grants the agent to act on behalf of the principal until the principal’s incapacitation or death. The Durable Power of Attorney can remain in effect for a much longer period of time.

What is a Health Care Proxy?

A Health Care Proxy is a document in which the patient selects an agent who will be responsible for making their medical decisions for them. When the patient is unable to make their own decisions concerning their health and overall well-being, the healthcare proxy will be the one responsible for making the imperative medical decisions. 

How Can an Elder Attorney Help?

An Elder Care Attorney can help in creating a power of attorney and completing all of the legalities behind the documentation of selecting a healthcare proxy. An Elder Care attorney can assist in management of estates and financial planning in regards to the potential passing and incapacitation of a loved one. The attorney can assist in estate planning, trust and will creation, as well as Medicare and Social Security appeals. An effective Elder Care attorney will ensure that assistance is preserved or transferred upon an individual being admitted to a nursing home. Lastly, the attorney will provide accurate answers and ensure that you and your loved ones are in good hands.

Who Should I Appoint as my Power of Attorney?

When appointing your Power of Attorney, you should select someone that you trust and will enact your wishes to the fullest extent. This is typically a spouse, family member, or a very close friend who is prepared to do just as you see fit. Select someone who is willing to take action in your best interest in regards to managing your property and assets in the best manner possible.

Frequently Asked Questions:

My mom has dementia, is it possible for her to sign a Power of Attorney?

In this case it would not be possible for your mother to sign a Power of Attorney because she is unable to make her own decisions. It would only be possible if the individual with dementia is fully aware of the content on the document they are signing. This document would give the agent the ability to make legal decisions on behalf of the individual, thus the individual must be fully aware of what they are signing. This would ensure there are no cases of elder abuse and all assets are properly in place just as the individual wishes. 

At what age should I contact an Elder Care Attorney?

There is no exact age that applies to everyone when it comes to contacting an Elder Care Attorney. It certainly is better to contact the attorney prior to an individual's admittance into a long-term care facility or before the individual becomes incapacitated. The longer you wait, the greater the potential loss in assets will be as well as there being an increase in the likelihood that you will be unable to make your own decisions concerning your health. A strong age to consider contacting an Elder Care Attorney is around 60 years of age. This is not a definite number though, so you can make the decision to contact the attorney before or after that age.

What happens if I become incapacitated without completing the Power of Attorney?

In this case, the basis of financial management decisions would be given to the state. The probate court will select a conservator or guardian to oversee the individual’s estate, as there was no designated agent selected previously. This implies that you have no control in regards to ensuring that all of your wishes are carried out, as it becomes the state’s responsibility to make the decisions.

What if the agent is not completing the wishes of the principal? 

In this case, the family members are eligible to file a petition in court to challenge the designated agent. The court will decide if the agent is adequately fulfilling the wishes of the participant. If the court finds that the agent fails to act in the best interest of the participant, then the court is able to revoke the power of attorney granted to the agent. The court will then select a guardian to represent the participant until they have passed away.

Areas Served:

The Law Office of Inna Fershteyn and Associates, P.C. understands that estate planning is personal. The best trust and estate lawyers in New York will work diligently to ensure that individual concerns are carefully addressed and goals are met. With our extensive knowledge of health care directives like the Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy, we will work with you to develop a comprehensive estate plan and offer knowledgeable guidance that will give you peace of mind as well as secure your family’s future. For estate planning help, contact us today! Call (718) 333-2395 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.