As we continue our legal summer reading series, this month we delve into documents important to have for your personal life.
1. Power of attorney
What is it?
This document allows you to appoint an agent to act on your behalf while you are still alive.
Why do I need it?
This person can help you when you aren’t able – for instance – you are traveling overseas and need a document signed in the States, or are disabled and need assistance with your day-to-day matters. Your agent can speak to your insurance company, your bank, pay bills, sign documents, transfer money or property, basically anything you choose for them to have access to do.
What else should I know?
You can also limit your agent to specific duties or make the power of attorney as broad as you want. You can also change the agent if you change your mind. In June this year, NYS changed the power of attorney form. If you have the old form, you do not need to change it. If you do not have a “statutory gift rider” on the old form, please know that your agent can only gift $500 per year in total. If you do not have that extra rider, or would like to update your POA, please give us a call.