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What is a power of attorney?

If you are unable to make decisions for yourself, a power of attorney can be used in New York to appoint an agent to do make them for you. According to the National Caregivers Library, this legal document can be used to grant power to another person over all your decisions or just particular areas. For example, you could grant a power of attorney to someone who can only handle your medical decisions or you could grant it to someone to handle all of your affairs.

When creating a power of attorney, you need to carefully choose the person to whom you are giving the decision-making power. It should be someone you trust and can rely on to make decisions that would be reflective of what you would make if you could. The person, called an agent or attorney-in-fact, can be anyone you want. The person does not have to be related to you but must be someone over the age of 18.

You can create a power of attorney at any time. If circumstances change or you simply want to revoke the document, there are a few ways in which you can do that. You can file a written revocation, destroy it or include a termination clause in the actual document that sets specific guidelines for when it will automatically terminate. You should also note that should your agent become unavailable or you die that the document is automatically voided. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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