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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default How Does Power of Attorney Work

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: New York

    How does a power of attorney work?
    Do you still need a will? Does power of attorney overrule a will and the executor of a will?

    I am looking into putting my affairs in order and I want to make sure my wishes are followed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: How Does Power of Attorney Work

    A power of attorney ceases to be in effect upon your demise.

    Unfortunately, there is little you can do to make sure your wishes are followed if the parties decide to do something different. Depending on the circumstances, you could look into a trust but even that may not be a 100% guarantee.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: How Does Power of Attorney Work

    Quote Quoting exitsign
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    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: New York

    How does a power of attorney work?
    Do you still need a will? Does power of attorney overrule a will and the executor of a will?

    I am looking into putting my affairs in order and I want to make sure my wishes are followed.
    A POA gives someone the power to act on your behalf for a particular matter such health directives, financial responsibilities (paying bills and investments), or any other matter that you may not be able to handle while you are alive. When you die so does the POA.

    You write a will and appoint someone you trust that will likely outlive you as the executor or executrix of your estate. That could be a relative, child, a friend, or a law firm or financial institution.

    A trust doesn't guarantee that your estate will be handled according to your wishes any more than does a will.

    You should talk to a local attorney that does estate planning. There are many ways to handle who gets what. For example: You can name a beneficiary on bank and brokerage accounts (POD payable on death) that do not go through probate. When you die, the account goes to the person named.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,417

    Default Re: How Does Power of Attorney Work

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    A POA gives someone the power to act on your behalf for a particular matter such health directives, financial responsibilities (paying bills and investments), or any other matter that you may not be able to handle while you are alive.
    Just to clarify for the OP, a power of attorney is not used just to nominate someone to act for you when you are not able to handle it yourself. It is also used when you simply want someone to handle things for you for the sake of convenience even though you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself. Note, too, that a POA cannot grant to the agent any powers that the agent by law cannot do. For example, you cannot have your agent handle a court matter for you if your agent is not a licensed attorney.

    The key thing here, as several people have noted, is that the POA ends with the death of the person who granted it (the principal).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1,666

    Default Re: How Does Power of Attorney Work

    Quote Quoting exitsign
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    How does a power of attorney work?
    Do you still need a will? Does power of attorney overrule a will and the executor of a will?
    Wills and powers of attorney cover completely different things.

    A power of attorney ("POA") is a document by which one person (the principal) gives another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) authority to deal with third persons on the principal's behalf. For example, I could give my colleague John a POA to allow him to sell my car on my behalf. Or I could give another colleague a POA to bet my money on horse races (but not invest it in stocks). My guess is you're more concerned with POAs that exist in the estate planning context. For example, I could give my spouse a POA to make medical decisions on my behalf if I am not capable of making such decisions for myself. Regardless of the specifics of the POA, the authority conferred ends as soon as the principal dies.

    A will, on the other hand, is a document that directs the disposition of a person's probate estate upon death. The probate estate is all assets of the decease, excluding (1) assets held in joint tenancy; (2) assets held in trust; and (3) assets held in an account that designates a pay-on-death beneficiary.

    With those explanations, I assume you can see that your third question doesn't make much sense.

    As for "putting [your] affairs in order and . . . mak[ing] sure [your] wishes are followed," you should consult with a local estate planning attorney.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,625

    Default Re: How Does Power of Attorney Work

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Just to clarify for the OP, a power of attorney is not used just to nominate someone to act for you when you are not able to handle it yourself. It is also used when you simply want someone to handle things for you for the sake of convenience even though you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself. Note, too, that a POA cannot grant to the agent any powers that the agent by law cannot do. For example, you cannot have your agent handle a court matter for you if your agent is not a licensed attorney.

    The key thing here, as several people have noted, is that the POA ends with the death of the person who granted it (the principal).
    Just to give an example, from back way before the digital age happened, in the 1970's my grandmother decided to take a world cruise, that lasted for 3 months. She gave my father POA so that he could take care of her bills and anything else that might have arisen during that three month period. We literally had almost no contact with her during that three months. Dad got a couple of telegrams but that was all.
    s

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: How Does Power of Attorney Work

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Dad got a couple of telegrams but that was all.
    Telegrams are another thing that the internet age has killed off. Western Union, the oldest and biggest U.S. telegram provider, sent its last telegram in 2006. Many young people today have no real idea of exactly what a telegram was.

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