Cona Elder Law

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DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY

New York Durable power of attorney

When it comes to protecting assets and planning for your estate, a Durable Power of Attorney is one of the most powerful planning tools available.

The estate planning attorneys at Cona Elder Law will work closely with you to create a Durable Power of Attorney to help ensure you can take steps to protect your assets and your loved ones in the future - even if you become incapacitated.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document wherein a trusted family member or loved one may be appointed to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Your appointed agent called your "attorney-in-fact," will have the authority to handle your financial matters including, income and assets, banking matters, real estate transactions, asset protection, and more on your behalf. A validly executed Power of Attorney is an important tool that allows you to engage in estate planning and asset protection planning even in the event you suffer a debilitating injury or illness.

A durable general Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately upon execution. It gives your appointed agent the authority to do anything with your property that you could do, including making gifts and asset transfers, if you have given that authority.

A Power of Attorney does not take away any of your power to act on your own behalf. You will continue to handle your own financial affairs. You may revoke the Power of Attorney at any time. Unless revoked, the Power will remain in effect until your death.

Why a Durable Power of Attorney is Important

A Durable Power of Attorney authorizes your appointed agent to act on your behalf even in the event you become incapacitated. The authority you grant your agent takes effect immediately, once signed by you and your appointed agent or agents before a notary public.

The individual or individuals you appoint as your agents, known as your attorney-in-fact, will have authority to:

● Pay your bills

● Manage your bank accounts and investments

● Handle real estate transactions

● Engage in asset protection planning

● Apply for government benefits, including Medicaid 

If you become incapacitated and you do not have a power of attorney in place, your loved ones may need to bring a guardianship proceeding to have the court appoint a guardian to make these decisions for you. This can be a long and costly process, which can be avoided by getting your power of attorney executed.

Appointing an Agent for a Durable Power of Attorney

It is important to meet with your trusted elder law and estate planning attorney in New York to review your assets, your situation, and your concerns to determine the best course of action and the best agent or agents to appoint as your attorney-in-fact. Because a Power of Attorney is a powerful legal document, your estate planning attorney will walk you through all facets of what your agent can and cannot do on your behalf.

When you're choosing an agent, the experienced Long Island Elder Law attorneys at Cona Elder Law will be with you every step of the way. We'll provide guidance and the framework to help you make the best decision. We’ll meet with you to understand your assets, your family issues and concerns, and your needs to create the best solutions for your peace of mind.

Our Durable Power of Attorney Services in New York

Our Durable Power of Attorney services include understanding your assets, your family concerns, and your needs, both current and future. We will also discuss all Advance Directives with you, that is, a Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Living Will. These legal documents allow you to name agents and make decisions for yourself in the event of your future incapacity. You thereby maintain control over your health care and your assets as you see fit now and in the future, even in the event you are unable to communicate or express your wishes due to illness, injury or incapacity. 


Schedule an Appointment with a Long Island Estate Planning Attorney Today

Advance directives allow you to remain in the driver’s seat - in control of important financial and medical decisions. Our seasoned Long Island elder Law attorneys will carefully listen to your needs and guide you to the best solutions to achieve your goals. Simply put, you don't have to do it alone. We'll be with you every step of the way, so you can rest easier knowing your future is secure.

 Contact us at 631.619.2533 to learn more.

New York Durable Power of Attorney FAQs


A Durable Power of Attorney in New York is a powerful estate planning tool that allows you to keep your financial affairs in order even in the event of illness or injury leading to incapacity. You should always consult with an experienced elder law and estate planning attorney in New York to discuss your needs before signing a durable power of attorney.

What Are the Limitations of Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a lifetime document, meaning that it cannot be used after you have passed away. At that point, the Executor of your Will takes over your affairs, including your financial affairs. Your power of attorney has a fiduciary duty to you and must act in your best interest. If your agent does not, her or she can be held to account for their actions. Your agent is not entitled to make gifts of assets to themselves unless you have specifically granted them that authority. Your agent is also not entitled to compensation for their services on your behalf unless you have specifically provided for their compensation in the power of attorney document.

Can Siblings Have Power of Attorney?

Siblings can have power of attorney. You can name more than one agent to act as your power of attorney. What you must consider is whether your agents must act together or if they can act separately. It can be cumbersome for your agents to have to take all actions together, such as signing all checks together, appearing at banks together, especially because the point of having a power of attorney is so that someone can step up and handle your affairs with ease. However, in some circumstances, a person may feel most comfortable with their agents acting together in all decisions and actions.

Does a Spouse Need a Power of Attorney To Act on Your Behalf?

Yes! While spouses do gain some rights in a marriage, they don’t supersede the power of attorney. You should appoint your spouse and have them choose you as a power of attorney agent to take care of each other's assets and affairs. You should also name a successor to your spouse.

Does a Spouse Automatically Have Power of Attorney?

No! A spouse does not have power of attorney for the other spouse unless you appoint them as your agent. If you become incapacitated and don’t have a power of attorney document, your spouse will not be able to act on your behalf. Unless you choose them as your agent, your spouse will have little to no say in the decision-making process about your assets and financial affairs.

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