Power of attorney (POA) is a legally binding document that grants another individual the right to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters. There are two types of POA: springing and non-springing. It is important to understand the differences between these two types of POAs, as they have distinct implications when it comes to decision-making authority.
Springing Power of Attorney
A springing power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to grant authority to another person, such as an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” This authorization activates at a specific time and/or upon the occurrence of certain conditions, known as a "springing event." For example, if the principal becomes incapacitated or is unable to make decisions due to illness, the power of attorney springs into action.
The agent appointed by the principal in this type of power of attorney is given various kinds of authority depending on what has been specified in the document. This can include duties such as managing property and money matters, making personal care decisions for health issues, changing beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement accounts, etc.
Non-Springing Power of Attorney
A non-springing power of attorney is a legal document that grants an individual the authority to act on someone else’s behalf in various financial and legal matters. This type of power of attorney is effective immediately upon being executed, as opposed to a springing power of attorney, which only takes effect after certain conditions are met. A non-springing power of attorney can be useful for people who want another person to act for them without waiting for any specific event or condition.
Non-springing powers of attorney are most commonly used when an individual needs help managing their finances or navigating a complicated process such as buying real estate or filing taxes. The person given the authority by the grantor must follow all applicable laws while executing their duties, and they cannot make decisions that go beyond the scope of what was specified in the document itself.
New York Power of Attorney Laws
In New York, any party over 18 years of age can grant a POA; however, there are certain requirements that must be met for a POA to be valid. When granting someone power of attorney in New York State, the form must include language outlining the specific powers being granted and must comply with all state laws. Additionally, it is important to take note that a POA document may not authorize an agent to make health care decisions or amendments to a will unless explicitly stated in the document.
A power of attorney is an important legal document that can help protect you, your family, and your assets. It is important to understand the different types of powers of attorney and their implications. We recommend scheduling a consultation with an experienced lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected. Our team of lawyers have years of experience in drafting and reviewing power of attorney documents and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.