June 10, 2021 Reminder: New Changes to the Power of Attorney Law
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to remind you that the long-awaited changes to the State’s Power of Attorney (POA) law will take effect on June 13, 2021. The new law is intended to make the POA easier to use, provide a framework for acceptance or rejection of the POA and clarify the powers and obligations of an agent.
In our December 2020 client memorandum we explained that the most notable revision to the new law is the substantial conformity standard, which creates a presumption in favor of the validity of a POA by allowing its language to “substantially conform” with the statute rather than requiring the statute’s exact wording.
In addition, the new law eliminates the requirement for a separate Statutory Gifts Rider (SGR) for gifts of a principal’s assets in excess of $500, allows penalties when valid POAs are unreasonably denied, adds safe harbors for third parties acting in good faith reliance on the validity of the POA and expands both an agent’s authority regarding health care and a principal’s capacity to grant authority over health care finances. A summary of these revisions can be found in our previous memorandum.
Pursuant to the new law, prior valid POA(s) or SGR(s) will be grandfathered and remain enforceable. However, the new law will not fix currently invalid POA(s) or SGR(s). If you currently do not have a valid POA and become unable to manage your personal or business affairs, it may become necessary for a court to appoint someone to do that for you. We understand that making POA decisions is not easy, but with the new law taking effect this month, now is an excellent time to consider the importance of a POA and deciding who you will trust with your personal affairs in the future.
Please contact Jeffrey A. Zankel (firstname.lastname@example.org), Diane J. Moffet (email@example.com), Mara N. Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org), Michelle A. Mahabirsingh (email@example.com) or one of our other attorneys at 631-694-2300 to discuss the new law.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
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© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2021