New authorization simplifies complexity and reduces the necessity for guardians Harris Seashore PLLC

The New York Power of Attorney is a legal instrument executed by a person with the ability (a principal) to appoint another (a representative) to manage his financial affairs. The current short-form permanent power of attorney is clunky, cumbersome and difficult to execute without legal support. The legislative changes to the Power of Attorney Acts of 2009 and 2010 did little to reduce complexity and in fact introduced additional restrictions on the execution and modification of the form. Reforms have long been needed and the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation even worse.

Last month, Governor Cuomo signed a new law that greatly simplifies and improves the New York State mandate and relaxes certain requirements for signers and language discrepancies. In addition to the improvements and clarifications, the change enables an authorized representative to sign the document at the instruction of the client if the client is physically unable to do so. and expands the agent’s access to the client’s health and billing records for financial reasons.

With this change going into effect in June 2021, healthcare facilities – especially nursing homes – should become familiar with the new requirements and their “user-friendly” nature. Patients and residents of care facilities often have financial problems that need to be addressed in the community. The power of attorney form can be made simpler so that a representative can be appointed to meet these unmet financial needs. When properly performed, the principal’s property affairs can be managed during a period of incapacity or inability and should serve to avoid the nursing home or family’s need for costly, time-consuming guardianship.

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