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Do You Need To Update Your Power of Attorney?

As with any documents concerning your estate or incapacity, it is often quite prudent to review these papers at regular time intervals, especially when there is a change in life circumstances (i.e. marriage, birth, death, relocation). The Durable Power of Attorney (POA) in New York is no exception. As previously stated in prior blogs, the POA is often accompanied by a document known as the Statutory Gifts Rider which is essential for any person who desires to grant broad gift-giving powers to their Agent and to maximize the estate planning powers that may be conferred to said Agent.

A Power of Attorney should be updated (or revoked) if you would like to change the Agent who is given any or all of the enumerated powers stated in the Durable POA. If you would like to remove the Agent for whatever reason, it is incumbent upon the principal to notify the Agent (and the successor) in writing and to also notify any third parties who may be utilizing the POA like a bank or some other financial institution. At this point, a new POA should be prepared for due and proper execution. Again, it extremely important to keep in mind that the revocation of a POA must be in writing and served upon the Agent who is being removed.

If your current Agent dies or becomes incapacitated, that means that the Successor Agent (if one is named) would assume the role of Primary Agent. This must be accompanied by proper documentation to substantiate the fact that the original Agent is no longer able to serve. At that point, the POA should be modified to call for the appointment of a new Successor Agent.

There are two other common instances when the POA should be updated. The first is if the time should arise for you to modify the enumerated powers bestowed upon the Agent. The second is to add the Statutory Gifts Rider to your current Durable POA,

Finally, should you relocate to another state, be sure that your current POA for New York would have full force and effect in your relocation jurisdiction. This is another common issue that may present itself when one moves to another state.

If you need to speak to a Long Island estate planning attorney, please contact us at the Law Offices of Michael W. Alpert by calling (516) 280-7288 or by e-mail: