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How Do I Prevent a Parent from Giving Away Assets Before Death in New York?

As people get older, they become more vulnerable. This vulnerability arises due to sickness, old age and isolation. There are, however, things you can do to protect your parents’ financial well being and your inheritance.

A great way to protect your parents’ finances is to have them execute a durable power of attorney. A New York durable power of attorney is a vital planning tool for any person who owns property and has some sort of income. As your parent gets older and becomes more prone to health problems, they too become more susceptible to being unable to handle their own finances. A Power of Attorney creates a legal relationship between the principal and the agent. By agreeing to act as a Power of Attorney, you agree to act in accordance with your parents’ instructions, and if there are no instructions, to act in the best interest of your parents.

The power of attorney can be tailored to give you the ability to handle your parents’ financials. You will have the ability to pay bills, make bank deposits, handle insurance and benefits, make investment decisions, and make sure that your parent does not fall victim to financial abuse. By becoming the holder of the Power of Attorney for your parent, you ensure that your parent will not be manipulated into giving away your assets before they pass away. The Power of Attorney does not affect the health care decision making power of the principal.

When your parent does not have the capacity to execute a Power of Attorney, Guardianship may be necessary to protect your parent’s well-being. NYC Surrogate’s Courts will grant a guardianship if it is determined that your parent is incapacitated and needs a guardian to take care of personal or financial needs. Although mental capacity is the key, disability or illness can be a factor in the guardianship determination. As Guardian of the Property, you will be given decision making power over the wards affairs, which may include control over assets and finances. You may also be appointed the Guardian of the Person, allowing you to make health care and personal decisions.

To make sure your parent’s assets are protected call an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin, Esq. at (212) 233-1233.