What You Need to Know for June 13 – Dan’s Papers

June 4, 2021

As we reflect on the lessons learned during the pandemic, one thing is certain: the unexpected and unthinkable can happen to any one of us at any time. People of all ages are rushing to get their estate planning affairs in order. A Power of Attorney is a critical legal component of any estate plan.

New York State passed legislation simplifying the Power of Attorney document effective June 13, 2021. Here’s what you need to know:

What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to name a trusted person to handle financial transactions and make financial decisions for you, such as paying bills, handling banking, insurance, real estate transactions and asset transfers, even if you
become incapacitated.

What Changed?
The new law simplified the Power of Attorney (POA) legal document and its execution. For example, the Statutory Gifts Rider has been eliminated. In addition, the basic statutory gifting amount has been increased from $500 to $5,000. Execution of the POA has been streamlined. Importantly, banks and other financial institutions can no longer reject your POA out-of-hand or require their own document, a problem encountered by countless clients. Under the new law, financial institutions must accept or reject your POA within 10 days of submission. If your POA is rejected, the financial institution must provide you with a valid reason in writing. Further, an institution which unreasonably refuses to accept a POA can be sued and you can be awarded damages and attorney fees.

Does Everyone Need a New Power of Attorney?
No. If your Power of Attorney (POA) was properly executed and in compliance with the law at the time it was signed, you do not need a new POA. However, the new POA has extra protections for clients, as noted above, so you should consider when to update. If your POA is more than two years old, or if other circumstances have changed in your life or in your agent’s or beneficiaries’ lives, such as retirement or retirement planning, changes in health condition or care needs, births, deaths, divorces, marriages, etc., it is a good time to review your estate planning documents to make this and any other necessary updates.

Virtual Access/Document Vault:
Cona Elder Law offers a virtual document vault so you can securely store your important estate planning documents for online access anywhere at any time. Contact us to receive a customized trust, estate and elder law plan.

Join us for Power of Attorney Day! Receive a New Power of Attorney in One Visit!
When: Friday, June 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. & Saturday, June 19, 9 am.-3 p.m.
Where: Cona Elder Law, 225 Broadhollow Road, Suite 200, Melville
Call: Janet at 631-390-5000

Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cona Elder Law PLLC. Cona Elder Law is an award-winning law firm concentrating in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, and health care law. The firm has been ranked the #1 Elder Law Firm by Long Island Business News for eight consecutive years. For more information, visit conaelderlaw.com.