Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
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Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Uses of powers of attorney

The power of attorney is a foundational legal document for any New York citizen who wishes to obtain a thorough end-of-life strategy. The power of attorney is an essential part of any plan that deals with the possibility of incapacity or death, but it also a useful tool for anyone who wishes to carry out a business transaction through an agent.

The power of attorney is a document that bestows the right to make legally binding decisions on someone else's behalf to a second party. That party may be an attorney at law, a family member or anyone else that the person desires. The power of attorney may be limited in whatever way the person chooses. It may be as specific as allowing someone else full latitude to sell a particular home or as broad as allowing someone to make all necessary medical decisions. Upon presentation of the proper documentation, the agent designated is empowered to make any decisions enumerated within.

Powers of attorney may be constructed in such a way that they take effect only after certain conditions have been met. These are known as 'springing" powers. They are most commonly used to give the legal right for someone to make medical or economic decisions in the case of permanent incapacity. Powers of attorney may be revoked or modified after they have been enacted, though the proper legal channels must be followed.

Powers of attorney are traditionally regarded with some trepidation by many American citizens. The concern is that the person empowered may choose to overstep their bounds and make decisions that would be contrary to the person's interests. A lawyer may be able to help someone set up a power of attorney that satisfies all the requirements of New York State and does not confer an undue or unreasonable amount of power upon the agent.

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