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Power of Attorney

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Power of Attorney Information

Alternate Names:

A Power of Attorney is also known as:

  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Ordinary Power of Attorney
  • POA or P.O.A.
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • General Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney form allows you to appoint another person to act on your behalf should you ever require someone to make short- or long-term decisions for you.

On a Power of Attorney form, the person granting authority to another is the "Principal". The person who is granted authority is called the "Attorney-in-fact" or "Agent".

Which powers can you grant to your attorney-in-fact?

A Power of Attorney document allows you to choose what your personal representative, or attorney-in-fact, will be responsible for by designating certain powers to them. The powers that you can grant your attorney-in-fact include:

Real Estate: To buy, sell, rent, or otherwise manage residential, commercial, and personal real estate.

Business: To invest, trade, and manage any and all business transactions and decisions, as well as handle any claim or litigation matters.

Finance: To control banking, tax, and government and retirement transactions, as well as living trust and estate decisions. Financial powers also allows your representative to control personal insurance policies and to continue donating to any charities in your stead.

Family: To purchase gifts, employ professionals, and to buy, sell or trade any of your personal property.

General Authority: This grants your personal attorney the authority to make any decisions that you would be able to if you were personally present.

When should you have a Power of Attorney form?

You should consider having a POA if:

  • You travel out of the country often
  • You are employed in a hazardous work environment
  • You have been diagnosed with a serious illness
  • You have business or property that you would want maintained if you were unavailable
  • You have children that would need to be provided for if you were to become incapacitated
  • You want a specific person to be responsible for your affairs
  • You have rules about how you run your business, property, or life, and you want to ensure they are upheld
  • You are approaching old age and would like to designate a representative for yourself

Are there different types of Power of Attorney Forms?

Yes, there are four types of POA forms.

General: A general Power of Attorney form allows your representative to manage all of your property-based and financial affairs. This type of POA grants them general authority.

Specific: A specific Power of Attorney form limits your representative's responsibilities to certain types of decisions. You can choose to allow someone to only make decisions in relation to business, for example.

Ordinary: An ordinary Power of Attorney is only valid while you, the principal, are capable of making decisions. This type of POA becomes invalid in the event that you become incapacitated.

Durable: An enduring Power of Attorney is when the contract continues even if you, the principal, become incapacitated.

How should I choose an attorney-in-fact?

To choose an attorney-in-fact, you must consider your options carefully. Aside from your personal preferences, there are also legal requirements for who you select.

Your attorney-in-fact may not:

  • Be under the age of majority in your state
  • Currently be in a state of bankruptcy
  • Be the owner or employee of a care home where the principal resides or receives treatment

You can name more than one attorney-in-fact if you believe that different people will better handle certain decisions or transactions.

You may also name a fiduciary, such as an accountant, lawyer, or other professional as your attorney-in-fact if you wish.

Forms Related to a Power of Attorney:

  • Living Will/Health Care Directive: A Living Will, or Health Care Directive, specifies your personal medical preferences and dictates what choices you want to be made in the event that you fall ill or become hospitalized.
  • Last Will and Testament: A Last Will and Testament is what dictates how your assets, debts, properties, and possessions will be distributed when you pass away.
  • Codicil: A Codicil is a form that allows you to make simple amendments to your existing Last Will and Testament.
  • End-of-Life Plan: An End-of-Life Plan is a document that allows you to plan your memorial service and express other final wishes that aren't addressed by other estate planning documents.
  • Revocation of Power of Attorney: A Revocation of Power of Attorney form allows you to cancel a previously created Power of Attorney form.

Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Power of Attorney FAQ
Sample Power of Attorney


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Sample Power of Attorney



Your Power of Attorney is an important document. As the "principal," you give the person whom you choose (your "agent") authority to spend your money and sell or dispose of your property during your lifetime without telling you. You do not lose your authority to act even though you have given your agent similar authority.

When your agent exercises this authority, he or she must act according to any instructions you have provided or, where there are no specific instructions, in your best interest. "Important Information for the Agent" at the end of this document describes your agent's responsibilities.

Your agent can act on your behalf only after signing the Power of Attorney before a notary public.

You can request information from your agent at any time. If you are revoking a prior Power of Attorney by executing this Power of Attorney, you should provide written notice of the revocation to your prior agent(s) and to the financial institutions where your accounts are located.

You can revoke or terminate your Power of Attorney at any time for any reason as long as you are of sound mind. If you are no longer of sound mind, a court can remove an agent for acting improperly.

Your agent cannot make health care decisions for you. You may execute a "Health Care Proxy" to do this.

The law governing Powers of Attorney is contained in the New York General Obligations Law, Article 5, Title 15. This law is available at a law library, or online through the New York State Senate or Assembly websites, or

If there is anything about this document that you do not understand, you should ask a lawyer of your own choosing to explain it to you.

THIS DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY for financial management is given by me, William Timothy Smith (the "Principal"), presently of 48 Oak Drive, North Greenbush, in the State of New York, on this 1st day of June, 2018.

  1. Nature of Power
  2. THIS IS A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY and the authority of my Agent shall not terminate if I become disabled or incapacitated.
  3. Previous Power of Attorney
  4. I REVOKE any previous durable power of attorney granted by me.
  5. Agent
  6. I APPOINT Donald A Langer, of 221 Terry Lane, NEW YORK, New York, to act as my Agent.
  7. Governing Law
  8. This document will be governed by the laws of the State of New York. Further, my Agent is directed to act in accordance with the laws of the State of New York at any time he or she may be acting on my behalf.
  9. Liability of Agent
  10. My Agent will not be liable to me, my estate, my heirs, successors or assigns for any action taken or not taken under this document, except for willful misconduct or gross negligence.
  11. Effective Date
  12. This Power of Attorney will start immediately and will continue notwithstanding a finding of my mental incapacity or mental infirmity which may occur after my execution of this Power of Attorney.
  13. Powers of Agent
  14. My Agent has authority to do anything on my behalf that I may lawfully do by an agent (the "General Power").
  15. Specific Powers
  16. Without restricting its generality in any way, the following power(s) are specifically included within the foregoing General Power:

    Initial the line at each authority you grant

    1. X____Real Estate Transactions
    2. To deal with any interest I may have in real property and sign all documents on my behalf concerning my interest, including, but not limited to, real property I may subsequently acquire or receive. These powers include, but are not limited to, the ability to:



      Purchase, sell, exchange, accept as gift, place as security on loans, convey with or without covenants, rent, collect rent, sue for and receive rents, eject and remove tenants or other persons, to pay or contest taxes or assessments, control any legal claim in favor of or against me, partition or consent to partitioning, mortgage, charge, lease, surrender, manage or otherwise deal with real estate and any interest therein; and



      Execute and deliver deeds, transfers, mortgages, charges, leases, assignments, surrenders, releases and other instruments required for any such purpose.

    3. X____Maintain Property and Make Investments
    4. To retain any assets owned by me at the date this Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective, and the power to reinvest those assets in similar investments. In addition, my Agent may invest my assets in any new investments, of his or her choosing, regardless of whether or not they are authorized by any applicable legislation.
    5. X____Banking Transactions
    6. To do any act that I can do through an agent with a bank or other financial institution. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to:



      Open, maintain or close bank accounts (including, but not limited to, checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit), brokerage accounts, retirement plan accounts, and other similar accounts with financial institutions;



      Conduct any business with any banking or financial institution with respect to any of my accounts, including, but not limited to, making deposits and withdrawals, negotiating or endorsing any checks or other instruments with respect to any such accounts, obtaining bank statements, passbooks, drafts, money orders, warrants, and certificates or vouchers payable to me by any person, firm, corporation or political entity;



      Borrow money from any banking or financial institution if deemed necessary by my Agent, and to manage all aspects of the loan process, including the placement of security and the negotiation of terms;



      Perform any act necessary to deposit, negotiate, sell or transfer any note, security, or draft of the United States of America, including U.S. Treasury Securities;



      Have access to any safe deposit box that I might own, including its contents; and



      Create and deliver any financial statements necessary to or from any bank or financial institution.

    7. X____Business Operating Transactions
    8. To take any action my Agent deems necessary with any business that I may own or have an interest in by doing any act which can be done through an agent. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to execute, seal and deliver any instrument; participate in any legal business of any kind; execute partnership agreements and amendments; to incorporate, reorganize, consolidate, merge, sell, or dissolve any business; to elect or employ officers, directors and agents; and to exercise voting rights with respect to any stock I may own, either in person or by proxy.
    9. X____Insurance Transactions
    10. To do any act that I can do through an agent with any insurance policy. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to pay premiums, start, modify or terminate policies, manage all cash payouts, borrow from insurers and third parties using insurance policies as collateral, and to change the beneficiaries on any insurance policies on my life. Unless my Agent was already a beneficiary of any policy before the signing of this document, my Agent cannot name himself or herself as a beneficiary of such policy.
    11. X____Claims and Litigation Matters
    12. To institute, maintain, defend, compromise, arbitrate or otherwise dispose of, any and all actions, suits, attachments or other legal proceedings for or against me. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to: appear on my behalf, and the power to settle any claim against me in whichever forum or manner my Agent deems prudent, and to receive or pay any resulting settlement.
    13. X____Tax Matters
    14. To act for me in all matters that affect my local, state and federal taxes and to prepare, sign, and file documents with any governmental body or agency, including, but not limited to, authority to:



      Prepare, sign and file income and other tax returns with federal, state, local and other governmental bodies, and to receive any refund checks; and



      Obtain information or documents from any government or its agencies, and represent me in all tax matters, including the authority to negotiate, compromise, or settle any matter with such government or agency.

    15. X____Government Benefits
    16. To act on my behalf in all matters that affect my right to allowances, compensation and reimbursements properly payable to me by the Government of the United States or any agency or department thereof. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to prepare, file, claim, defend or settle any claim on my behalf and to receive and manage, as my Agent sees fit, any proceeds of any claim.
    17. X____Retirement Benefit Transactions
    18. To act for me and represent my interests in all matters affecting any retirement savings or pension plans I may have. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to continue contributions, change contribution amounts, change investment strategies and options, move assets to other plans, receive and manage payouts, and add or change existing beneficiaries. My Agent cannot add himself or herself as a beneficiary unless he or she is already a designated beneficiary as of the signing of this document.
    19. X____Family Care
    20. To make whatever expenditures are required for the maintenance, education, benefit, medical care and general advancement of me, my spouse and dependent children, and other persons that I have chosen or which I am legally required to support, any of which may include my Agent. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to pay for housing, clothing, food, travel and other living costs.
    21. X____Chattel and Goods Transactions
    22. To purchase, sell or otherwise deal with any type of personal property I may currently or in the future have an interest in. This includes, but is not limited to, the power to purchase, sell, exchange, accept as gift, place as security on loans, rent, lease, to pay or contest taxes or assessments, mortgage or pledge.
    23. X____Estate Transactions
    24. To do any act that I can do through an agent with regard to all matters that affect any trust, probate estate, conservatorship, or other fund from which I may receive payment as a beneficiary. This power includes the power to disclaim any interest which might otherwise be transferred or distributed to me from any other person, estate, trust, or other entity, as may be appropriate. However, my Agent cannot disclaim assets to which I would be entitled, if the result is that the disclaimed assets pass directly or indirectly to my Agent or my Agent's estate.
    25. X____Living Trust Transactions
    26. To transfer any of my assets to the trustee of any revocable trust created by me, if such trust is in existence at the time of such transfer. This property can include real property, stocks, bonds, accounts, insurance policies or other property.
    27. X____Employ Required Professionals
    28. To appoint and employ any agents, servants, companions, or other persons, including nurses and other health care professionals for my care and the care of my spouse and dependent children, and accountants, attorneys, clerks, workers and others for the management, preservation and protection of my property and estate, at such compensation and for such length of time as my Agent considers advisable.
  17. Agent Compensation
  18. My Agent will receive compensation as per the guidelines governing the compensation for agents or trustees or other such legislated rate in the State of New York in addition to reimbursement of all out of pocket expenses associated with the carrying out my wishes. If no guidelines or usual practices exist for the compensation of an agent then my Agent will be entitled to reimbursement for all out of pocket expenses associated with the carrying out of my wishes and may pay himself or herself a reasonable amount based on the size of my estate.
  19. Co-owning of Assets and Mixing of Funds
  20. My Agent may continue to co-own assets and have any funds owned by him or her mixed with my funds to the same extent that the co-owning of assets and mixing of funds existed before operation of this Power of Attorney.
  21. Personal Gain from Managing My Affairs
  22. My Agent is not allowed to personally gain from any transaction he or she may complete on my behalf.
  23. Delegation of Authority
  24. My Agent may delegate any authority granted under this document to a person of his or her choosing. Any delegation must be in writing and state the extent of the power delegated and the period of time in which the delegation will be effective.
  25. Nomination of Guardian or Conservator
  26. In the event that a court decides that it is necessary to appoint a guardian or conservator for me, I hereby nominate my Agent to be considered by the court for appointment to serve as my guardian or conservator, or in any similar representative capacity.
  27. Agent Restrictions
  28. This Power of Attorney is not subject to any conditions or restrictions other than those noted above.
  29. Acceptance by Third Parties
  30. I agree to indemnify the third party for any claims that may arise against the third party because of reliance on this Power of Attorney. I understand that any termination of this Power of Attorney, whether the result of my revocation of the Power of Attorney or otherwise, is not effective as to a third party until the third party has actual notice or knowledge of the termination.
  31. Termination
  32. This Power of Attorney continues until I revoke it or it is terminated by my death or other event described in section 5-1511 of the General Obligations Law.
  33. Severability
  34. If any part of any provision of this document is ruled invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, such part will be ineffective to the extent of such invalidity only, without in any way affecting the remaining parts of such provisions or the remaining provisions of this document.
  35. Acknowledgment
  36. I, William Timothy Smith, being the Principal named in this Durable Power of Attorney hereby acknowledge:
    1. I have read and understand the nature and effect of this Durable Power of Attorney;
    2. I recognize that this document gives my Agent broad powers over my assets, and that these powers will continue past the point of my incapacity;
    3. I am of legal age in the State of New York to grant a Durable Power of Attorney; and
    4. I am voluntarily giving this Durable Power of Attorney and recognize that the powers given in this document will become effective as of the date of my incapacity or as specified within.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I hereunto set my hand and seal at the City of NEW YORK in the State of New York, this 1st day of June, 2018.



in the presence of:


Witness: ______________________ (Sign)


Witness Name: ______________________


Address: ___________________________





William Timothy Smith (Principal)


Witness: ______________________ (Sign)


Witness Name: ______________________


Address: ___________________________




When you accept the authority granted under this Power of Attorney, a special legal relationship is created between you and the Principal. This relationship imposes on you legal responsibilities that continue until you resign or the Power of Attorney is terminated or revoked. You must:

(1) Act according to any instructions from the principal, or, where there are no instructions, in the principal's best interest;
(2) Avoid conflicts that would impair your ability to act in the principal's best interest;
(3) Keep the principal's property separate and distinct from any assets you own or control, unless otherwise permitted by law;
(4) Keep a record or all receipts, payments, and transactions conducted for the principal; and
(5) Disclose your identity as an agent whenever you act for the principal by writing or printing the principal's name and signing your own name as "agent" in either of the following manner:

(Principal's Name) by (Your Signature) as Agent; or

(Your Signature) as Agent for (Principal's Name).

You may not use the principal's assets to benefit yourself or give major gifts to yourself or anyone else unless the principal has specifically granted you that authority in this Power of Attorney or in a Statutory Major Gifts Rider that has been attached to this Power of Attorney. If you have that authority, you must act according to any instructions of the principal or, where there are no such instructions, in the principal's best interest. You may resign by giving written notice to the principal and to any co-agent, successor agent, monitor if one has been named in this document, or the principal's guardian if one has been appointed. If there is anything about this document or your responsibilities that you do not understand, you should seek legal advice.

Liability of agent:
The meaning of the authority given to you is defined in New York's General Obligations Law, Article 5, Title 15. If it is found that you have violated the law or acted outside the authority granted to you in the Power of Attorney, you may be liable under the law for your violation.

It is not required that the principal and the agent(s) sign at the same time, nor that multiple agents sign at the same time.

I, Donald A Langer, have read the foregoing Power of Attorney. I am the person identified therein as agent for the principal named therein.

I acknowledge my legal responsibilities.

Donald A Langer



COUNTY OF ____________________

On this 1st day of June, 2018, before me, the undersigned, a Notary Public in and for said state, personally appeared Donald A Langer, personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she executed the same in his/her capacity, and that by his/her signature on the instrument, the individual, or the person upon behalf of which the individual acted, executed the instrument.

Notary Public

My commission expires: _____________


I, _________________________, currently residing at __________________________, in the City of __________________, in the State of ____________________, hereby acknowledge that:

  1. I witnessed the signing of the Power of Attorney of William Timothy Smith dated this 1st day of June, 2018.
  2. I am an adult with capacity to witness the signing of the Power of Attorney and I am the subscribing witness thereto.
  3. In my opinion, William Timothy Smith had the capacity to understand the nature and effect of the Power of Attorney at the time the Power of Attorney was signed and the Principal signed it freely and voluntarily without any compulsion or influence from any person.
  4. I am not the Agent named in the Power of Attorney nor am I the Agent's spouse or other family member.



(Signature of Witness)



I, _________________________, currently residing at __________________________, in the City of __________________, in the State of ____________________, hereby acknowledge that:

  1. I witnessed the signing of the Power of Attorney of William Timothy Smith dated this 1st day of June, 2018.
  2. I am an adult with capacity to witness the signing of the Power of Attorney and I am the subscribing witness thereto.
  3. In my opinion, William Timothy Smith had the capacity to understand the nature and effect of the Power of Attorney at the time the Power of Attorney was signed and the Principal signed it freely and voluntarily without any compulsion or influence from any person.
  4. I am not the Agent named in the Power of Attorney nor am I the Agent's spouse or other family member.



(Signature of Witness)



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