Power of Attorney (“POA”) in New York State underwent a significant change in the law, effective September 1, 2009, requiring that both the principal and the designated agent(s)or attorney-in-fact sign the POA document, with notary attestation. The “new” POA also outlines the agent(s) fiduciary responsibilities.

The POA may be as broad or narrow as the principal wishes, by expanding or limiting the powers granted, and the principal can appoint agents to act separately (independently) or jointly. A “durable” POA continues in full force in the event of the principal’s disability or incapacity. A “springing” POA is not immediately effective, and its enforceability is triggered by a future event usually tied to the principal’s physical and/or mental health and capacity. The trigger event typically requires independently verifiable proofs, and authentications, and can be quite unwieldy in practice.