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Does an Out of State Power of Attorney Work in New York?

When you use an out of state power of attorney in New York, results can be unpredictable. People move to or from another state during their lifetimes. You need to update legal documents such as driver’s licenses, insurance, social security, etc. It’s a hassle, but it needs to be done. A thing you wouldn’t think of right away is a Power of Attorney, a Will, a Trust or any other estate planning documents.

Officially, a power of attorney that is appropriately signed in one state is valid in New York. For example, if someone correctly signed a power of attorney under Florida law, the agent would be able to use that form to conduct business within the state of New York. The person signing the power of attorney would not have to sign a separate New York form. In reality, though, many New York institutions will not accept an out of state power of attorney, even if it is officially valid.

When someone signs a power of attorney in one state and then moves to another state, that power of attorney would still be valid after they moved. An example of this is when the principal executes a valid power of attorney while a Florida resident and then moves to New York, the power of attorney would be valid in New York. However, when making such a move, it is advisable to talk to a New York estate attorney to discuss updating all of your estate plans after such a move to make sure that everything is up to date and best suited for New York law. Not only will this ensure that all the forms are proper, but there is less of a chance of someone in New York not honoring the power of attorney for being from out of state, regardless of validity.

What does not work, however, is executing a New York power of attorney in another state. If, for example, someone wants to sign the New York Power of Attorney statutory short form, they would have to do so within the state of New York. The principal would not be able to sign in Florida and still have the power of attorney be valid. However, it is still possible for the agent to sign and have his part of the power of attorney notarized outside of New York and still have the power of attorney be valid. It is the principal’s signature that must take place within the state.

While many people think of a power of attorney form to be something they can do themselves, the complexity surrounding both powers of attorney and estate planning in general means that it is best to have a New York estate attorney on your side to assist you and make sure it works.