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When Does A Power Of Attorney Take Effect And How Long Does It Last?

The effective date by which a New York Power of Attorney takes effect will be a direct consequence of the type of document that is executed. A vast majority of clients sign what is known as a Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney takes effect immediately upon due and proper execution by the person giving the power (principal) and the person receiving the power (agent). All signatures need to be properly acknowledged in New York by a Notary Public, and an important addendum called the Statutory Gifts Rider (optional) must be witnessed by two (2) non-interested parties. The Rider is very important as it expands the limitation in the standard POA as to gift giving and estate planning strategies. The power of attorney can only be terminated in one of two ways: the death of the principal or a revocation by the principal in writing with notice to the agent and any third parties who relied upon the document.

The other type of New York power of attorney is a springing power of attorney. It takes effect only upon the incapacity of the principal. I am reticent to have clients sign this type of POA because quite often, there can be ambiguity or disagreement as to whether the principal is incapacitated. To avoid such an issue, I usually have client use the Durable Power of Attorney. With that said, it is very important that the person to whom you are granting these broad based powers is someone you trust completely.

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