June 3, 2021
On December 15, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed into law changes to the New York power of attorney (“POA”) law, which will take effect on June 13, 2021. These changes will not impact the validity of an existing POA form and statutory gifts rider if it is executed in accordance with the provisions of the current law.
The major changes from prior law are:
Back in 2009, New York State made numerous changes to the law governing powers of attorney. While the goal of the 2009 overhaul was to provide more protection to the principal as it relates to gifting, the changes were overly complex and burdensome for the principal. Additionally, many institutions continued to reject powers of attorney and instead required the principal to sign the institution’s own form.
Under the new law, there is a presumption that a power of attorney is valid. The new power of attorney law does not invalidate older power of attorney documents that were properly executed prior to its effective date. However, it may still be advisable to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to see if updating your documents would be in your best interest.