Power of Attorney

What Is a Power Of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is an authorization to act on someone else's behalf in a legal or business matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, grantor or donor (of the power), and the one authorized to act is the agent or the attorney-in-fact. A New York City estate planning lawyer can help you draft this instrument.

In New York, like in many jurisdictions, the power of attorney is an important document that is utilized as part of a person's estate plan.  It can afford protection to a person and his or her family by providing an agent with the power to engage in financial and other transactions for another in situations such as a person's absence due to travel or where a person is incapacitated as a result of an illness or accident.  The power of attorney can insure that important decisions and actions do not have to be delayed or opportunities lost in such event.  Court proceedings to appoint a Guardian can also sometimes be avoided.

However, powers of attorney have been a source of  financial abuse and overreaching.  Persons appointed as agents have fiduciary duties and responsibilities and the selection of an agent should be done only after full consideration of a person's qualifications, integrity and sincerity.

As a New York City lawyer, I have represented clients in the preparation and implementation of powers of attorney and developing and implementing a successful estate plan.  I have also assisted many clients in situations where an agent has improperly acted or breached their obligation to act fairly and honestly.

The New York Power of Attorney statutes are contained in the New York General Obligations Law commencing at Section 5-1501. The power of attorney must be signed by the principal and acknowledged by a notary.  It must also be signed and dated by the agent and also acknowledged by a notary.  The typical power is known as a Durable Power of Attorney which means that the power or authority of the agent is not terminated if the principal becomes incapacitated.  The durable nature of the power allows the agent to act for someone who becomes incapacitated and thereby avoids the need for a Guardianship Proceeding regarding the person's property management.  In cases where a person does not have a valid Power of Attorney the Court may need to appoint a property management Guardian under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law.  The property management Guardian will have the power to access and transfer an incapacitated person's assets such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts and real estate.

There are numerous types of authority that an agent may be given by the power.  These include the authority to act in real estate transactions, banking transactions, business operating transactions and insurance transactions.

It is always important for a person to consult with a New York City lawyer regarding the appropriate authority and designation of  agents to be provided in the document.  It should also be noted that a power of attorney terminates when a person dies.  Thereafter, only a duly appointed fiduciary such as an Executor or Administrator can act on behalf of the decedent's estate.   A power of attorney can also be revoked prior to death.

I provide my clients with personal representation.  I graduated in the top 10% of my class at The New England School of Law in Boston where I served on the prestigious “Law Review.”

I enjoy being successful on behalf of my clients. I'll work hard to help you resolve your legal issues successfully.

I am available through many methods of communication, including telephone, fax and e-mail. Call (212) 355-2575, fax (212) 751-5911 or contact me via e-mail for a free appointment with a New York City lawyer.

Client Reviews
Jules Haas helped me with managing the process in probate court for my father's estate through to its completion upon the sale of my father's house. He was knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in submitting documentation to the probate court, explaining procedures to me, and advising me as to the progress of my case. His support staff was also very helpful. He made what for me created so much anxiety into something manageable where I could see progress every step of the way. His fees were very reasonable. I am super grateful to him for all the help he has provided and strongly recommend his services.
★★★★★
I found Mr. Haas after being misguided by a former attorney. Mr. Jules Haas took our case which involved an estate/trust dispute. What initially seemed like an impossible and overwhelming legal fight was now in the hands of someone who had the integrity and legal expertise to win our case. Mr Haas' attention to detail and his expert knowledge base, skillfully and successfully guided us through an intricate legal process. I am very thankful and grateful to Mr. Jules Haas for representing our interest and ultimately winning. Bringing about a peace of mind we needed. Thank You Devida Nedd
★★★★★
I was in need of a guardianship attorney and I hired the services of Jules M. Haas' Law firm. The service of counselor Haas and his staff, was very profesional and the case was handled in a timely matter. I would strongly recommend his services Angel Guevara
★★★★★
I strongly recommend Jules Haas. I have worked with him for two years and he has provided so much support and followed through with everything he promised he would do. His support staff is just as helpful! We had an interesting case and he helped to solve each part of it legally and was very thorough. Thank you for everything you have done to finalize our families estate Robyn Stafford
★★★★★