New Power of Attorney Law Effective September 1, 2009

October 11, 2009

This edition of the Koldin Report E-Newsletter reviews the New Power of Attorney Law effective September 1, 2009.

New York State has recently enacted a new law regarding Powers of Attorney. The law establishes a new "statutory form" which must be used on or after September 1, 2009. Any Power of Attorney signed before September 1, 2009 is still valid.

A Power of Attorney is an important legal document where you give your agent(s) (person you appoint to serve on your behalf) the legal authority to handle your finances and make other business decisions on your behalf. If you become incapacitated in the future and have not signed a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship proceeding may become necessary.

The new Power of Attorney form has numerous important changes designed to give you more flexibility and protection in deciding what powers to grant to your agent(s):

1) It allows you to appoint a "monitor" to oversee your agent(s) to make certain your agent is acting in your best interests.

2) It allows you to permit your agent(s) to collect a fee for his/her/their time spent handling your affairs.

3) It requires your appointed agent(s) to sign the Power of Attorney agreeing to serve and acknowledging their duty to act only in your best interests.

4) It provides for an optional "gift rider" for you to specify whether your agent(s) can make gifts and allows you to provide specific guidelines and restrictions for such gifts.

If you already have a Power of Attorney prepared by the Koldin Law Center prior to 1997, we recommend that you consider signing a new Power of Attorney which contains substantially more powers we believe could be helpful.

If you signed a Power of Attorney with the Koldin Law Center on or after January 1, 1997, then your Power of Attorney contains enough enhanced authority for your agent to handle your affairs in the event of a catastrophic illness. However, if you desire some of the additional features the new form offers, please feel free to contact our office.

Under this new law, the "statutory form" has the basic powers. The law then allows for substantial modification of the basic form. The Koldin Law Center has prepared an enhanced Power of Attorney which provides additional powers we feel are important if a catastrophic illness occurs.

A Power of Attorney cannot be used to make health care decisions. A separate document called a Health Care Proxy is available for New York residents.

If you do not have a Power of Attorney, or if you would like to review your existing Power of Attorney and discuss whether a new one should be prepared, please feel free to contact the Koldin Law Center .

Our Attorneys Are Available to Speak to Your Organization

Our Attorneys speak to groups throughout New York State as a public service. If you would like to arrange for one of our Attorneys to speak to your group, please contact our office.

We Appreciate Your Referrals

We have been told by many clients who are in a crisis that they wish they had known about our firm much sooner. We are proud of the many families we have helped in times of crisis.

We are also proud of the many families we helped avoid financial crisis by doing estate planning in advance.

We all share the responsibility for making our family and friends aware of the planning options available to them.

Your referral to the Koldin Law Center could make a major difference in the lives of your family and friends if they are someday faced with a long term illness.

Remember that the Koldin Law Center offers many services for clients of all ages. Our services range from basic estate planning such as a simple will to complex estate planning including asset preservation planning.

There is no fee for the initial consultation.