Q: When does a Power of Attorney become effective? do I need a Dr.s note or a judge ruling?
A: There are two types of power of attorney –first, a “general” or “live” power of attorney which can be used by the agent (the person who is authorized to act and sign documents, etc.) at any time and without restrictions as soon as it is signed and delivered and a “springing” power of attorney which only can be used if a physician or other third party authorizes use of the power of attorney. Often, springing powers of attorney can only be used if the person who established the power of attorney is no longer capable of handling their own financial affairs because they are unconscious, suffering grave illness such as advanced stage Alzheimer’s disease, etc. In all instances, the use of a power of attorney on behalf of another person, especially in New York under current laws, is a complex undertaking and we recommend that you consult with an estate planning attorney or elder law attorney on these important issues.
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