Set up a plan in advance and determine who will be your agent should you need a representative. What if something happens and you cannot pay your bills, go to the bank, pay your taxes or sign up for an insurance plan? A New York State Durable General Power of Attorney allows you (the principal), to name an individual (your agent) who may make decisions for you in the event that you are unable to or are incapacitated. You know best who you would trust. Your agent is obligated to make decisions according to your wishes or in the absence thereof, in your best interests.
Equally important to designating the person with this legal authority, is your selection of matters your agent may handle for you. The statutory Power Of Attorney provides a list of these powers for your selection. Additional powers may be inserted in the modification section. Some common specific designations of power are financial matters, such as paying bills, transferring funds, withdrawing funds, making money gifts, etc. Other specific designations include handling pensions, health insurance, taxes, real estate, business and mail and applying for government benefits.
A New York State Power of Attorney should not be executed without first consulting a lawyer. This is a powerful document and a thorough consultation should be conducted with you and your agent before signature so that all parties fully understand their role and responsibilities.