On December 15, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed long-awaited changes to the New York State Power of Attorney law. The changes are intended to make the Power of Attorney easier to use and clarify the power and obligations of an Agent.
- Existing Powers of Attorney documents remain effective.
- The changes will take effect on June 13, 2021. A Power of Attorney document that was executed by the Principal prior to June 12, 2021 (even if signed by the Agent after that date) will be valid.
- Potential recipients of gifts made through a Power of Attorney are not eligible to serve as witnesses to the execution of the Power of Attorney document.
- A refusal to honor a power of attorney must be made, in writing, to the Principal and the Agent within 10 business days of presentation. The document must provide specific reasons for the refusal.
- If a proceeding is brought to compel the acceptance of a statutory short-form power of attorney, the court can award damages including reasonable attorney’s fees.
- The total basic statutory gifting amount is increased from $500 per year to $5,000 per year.
- The separate statutory gift rider will not be required for new Power of Attorney documents.
- The record-keeping requirement for Agents has been clarified. An Agent must keep a record (e. ledger) of all transactions conducted for the Principal or keep all receipts of payments and transactions conducted for the Principal.
- The Agent will be considered a personal representative for the purpose of health care financial matters. Health care providers and health plans must provide the Agent with the information needed to determine the legitimacy and accuracy of charges for health-related expenses and benefits.
If you have any questions about the above material or wish to speak to an attorney, please contact PB Elder Law at (716) 204-1055.
PB Elder Law is located at 455 Cayuga Road, Suite 600, Buffalo, New York 14225.