On June 13, 2021, the new Power of Attorney (“POA”) came into effect. This new statutory form seeks to enhance protections to the principals of the POA and minimize or avoid abuse and fraud associated with the use of a POA. Some of the major changes include, but are not limited to, the addition of two (2) witnesses (one of whom could be the notary) for all POAs, the elimination of gifts riders, a timeline of ten (10) business days for a third party to accept or reject a POA, signing requirements for witnesses and agents, as well as other standard form updates. One progressive change is the allowance of physically incapacitated individuals to execute a POA, following certain formalities in order to safeguard the principal’s rights.
If you have a POA and a Statutory Gift Rider (“SGR”) that was signed on or before June 13, 2021, it is still valid, and you are able to use it. You do not need a new POA. However, if you want to make changes you must execute a new POA that revokes any previous POA and SGR. It should be noted that if an out-of-state POA has been properly executed, it must be honored in the State of New York.
Remember, when executing a POA you should be able to trust the person you designate as your agent since you will be granting decision power over your business affairs and financial matters, personal and family maintenance and other important aspects of your life. Be aware to select a person that will always act in your best interests and not in their self-interest.