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Divorce and Power of Attorney

Posted on August 5, 2022

In New York, divorce proceedings have NO EFFECT on a power of attorney. If your spouse is your designated agent, they remain so until you formally revoke the power of attorney or a divorce decree is issued. Simply executing a new power of attorney does not fulfill these requirements.

Revoking a Power of Attorney in New York

To revoke a power of attorney in New York, you must deliver a written, signed, and dated revocation to the agent(s) and to any third party you believe has received, retained, or acted upon the power of attorney. If the power of attorney was recorded, the revocation also must be recorded.

When does a Power of Attorney Expire?

Without a set expiration date, a power of attorney remains in effect until:

1) You die;
2) You become incapacitated (if the power of attorney is not durable);
3) You revoke the power of attorney;
4) You revoke the agent’s authority, and there is no co-agent or successor agent or no co-agent or successor agent who is willing or able to serve;
5) The agent dies, becomes incapacitated, or resigns, and there is no co-agent or successor agent or no co-agent or successor agent who is willing or able to serve;
6) The agent’s authority ends through divorce or annulment, and there is no co-agent or successor agent or no co-agent or successor agent who is willing or able to serve;
7) The purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished; or
8) A court order revokes the power of attorney.

A power of attorney validly executed in another state will be honored in New York.

Do You Need a Power of Attorney?

If you do not have a power of attorney, you may consider one as part of your estate plan. If you cannot care for yourself or your financial affairs, a power of attorney can designate a trusted agent to act on your behalf.

A durable power of attorney is typically executed alongside a healthcare directive. These allow you to specify end-of-life care like artificial nutrition and hydration and organ donation and eliminate family disagreement about your care.

Types of Powers of Attorney

There are four types of powers of attorney. The durable power of attorney, as mentioned above, when combined with a healthcare directive, survives any incapacity or illness of the principal (you) and permits end-of-life management.

There is also a general power of attorney, a limited power of attorney, and a springing power of attorney.

  • The general power of attorney ends with incapacitation, revocation, or the principal’s death. It authorizes the agent to act on behalf of the principal;
  • The limited power of attorney restricts the agent to only those acts designated by the principal; and
  • The springing power of attorney becomes effective upon a triggering event. This could be an illness or accident.

For information about creating or revoking a New York power of attorney, speak with an experienced family law attorney in your area.

Contact an Experienced New York Divorce Attorney Today

To ensure your power of attorney is handled correctly, contact the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., today. Attorney Stark has decades of experience in New York family law matters and can help you with any divorce issues you may be facing.

No asset or child custody matter is too complex. Attorney Stark can offer you creative solutions to settle your disputes. Reach out online or by phone to schedule your confidential consultation.

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