Powers of attorney in Long Island NY are used in the legal field under various different circumstances. When it comes to estate planning and elder law in New York, durable powers of attorney are often included within the incapacity component of an estate plan.
Incapacity: Is It Likely?
You may be surprised to hear the facts when it comes to the ubiquity of incapacity among our nation’s elders. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 45 percent of people who are at least 85 have contracted this disease.
Alzheimer’s causes dementia. If you are suffering from dementia you are probably not going to be able to make sound decisions. In fact, you may need around-the-clock care.
Alzheimer’s alone is a cause for concern among people who are planning ahead for the future. However, Alzheimer’s is not the only cause of incapacity.
People are living longer lives. In the geriatric community the term “oldest old” is used to describe people who are at least 85. According to a recent census, this is the fastest-growing segment of the population.
Without question, when you reach your mid-to-late 80s the prospect of incapacity becomes very real indeed.
If you were to become incapacitated without executing a legally binding document naming your own hand-picked decision-maker the state could appoint a guardian to act in your behalf. The individual that is chosen by the state may not be someone that you would have selected on your own.
Durable Powers of Attorney in Long Island NY
Now we come full circle back to durable powers of attorney. If you execute a durable power of attorney naming an agent or attorney-in-fact, this individual would have the power to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
Because of the fact that you have a legally binding device in place naming a decision-maker of your own choosing, there would be no reason for the court to become involved. A guardianship proceedings would be avoided. Your affairs would be handled by someone that you personally selected when you were of sound mind.
When you execute a durable power of attorney, the device remains in effect even if you become incapacitated. If the power of attorney is not designated as durable, it would no longer be in effect if the grantor was to become incapacitated.
You may not want to give someone power of attorney until and unless you become incapacitated. This can be accomplished through the execution of a springing durable power of attorney.
A springing durable power of attorney springs into effect if and when you become incapacitated. The agent has no authority to act on your behalf unless it can be proven that you are in fact unable to handle your own affairs.