Understanding Power of Attorney: A Comprehensive Guide for Queens Residents

Living life in Queens often means looking ahead. You build a career, raise a family, and accumulate assets. But what happens if you’re ever unable to manage your affairs due to illness, injury, or age? A Power of Attorney (POA) can be your answer.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A POA is a legal document that allows you (the “principal”) to designate a trusted person (the “agent”) to make decisions on your behalf. This can be a broad range of choices,  depending on the POA you create.

Types of Powers of Attorney

  • General Power of Attorney: This grants your agent broad authority to handle a wide range of financial matters, such as managing bank accounts, buying and selling property, and filing taxes.
  • Limited Power of Attorney: This allows you to specify exactly what actions your agent can take. For instance, you might create a limited POA for your agent to manage a specific investment account or sell a particular piece of property.
  • Durable Power of Attorney:  This POA remains valid even if you become incapacitated. This ensures your agent can continue to manage your affairs according to your wishes.
  • Springing Power of Attorney: This POA takes effect only upon a specific event, such as a medical diagnosis or being declared incapacitated by a doctor.

Benefits of a Power of Attorney

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your agent can handle your affairs if you’re unable to provides comfort and security.
  • Avoids Guardianship: A POA can prevent the need for a court-appointed guardian, which can be a lengthy and costly process.
  • Flexibility: You can tailor the POA to your specific needs and choose the level of authority you grant your agent.

Choosing the Right Agent

Select someone you trust implicitly, someone responsible and capable of handling your financial or medical affairs.  Consider their age, location, and familiarity with your financial situation.

Consulting an Attorney

An experienced Queens estate planning attorney can help you understand the different POA options, draft a document that reflects your wishes, and ensure it complies with New York State law.


A POA is a powerful tool.  Having an open conversation with your agent about your expectations is crucial.  With careful planning and the right legal guidance, you can empower your future and ensure your affairs are managed according to your wishes, even if you’re facing unexpected challenges.