As of October 2011, Powers of Attorney may no longer be "springing" powers. Before October 2011, the Legislature allowed you to make Powers of Attorney contingent upon some event, like your incapacity or if you were out of the country. Now, the minute you sign your Powers of Attorney in front of a Notary and two witnesses, the Powers are actionable at that moment. Since, Powers of Attorney give the person you have designated as your agent the right to stand in your shoes to make financial decisions on your behalf - these documents should only be given to people you trust. If you are worried that your agent may start using the Powers before you are ready, you should let your attorney keep possession of the document until certain contingencies are met.
In addition, catch-all phrases are no longer permissible. Prior to October 2011, catch phrases commonly appeared and they stated something to the effect of: “In general, to do all other acts, deeds, matters and things whatsoever in or about my estate, property and affairs, whether or not particularly or generally described and any and all other acts, deeds, matters, and things not particularly or generally set forth herein, as fully and effectively to all intents and purposes as the undersigned could do if personally present; and to employ, retain in employment and discharge such persons (both professional and otherwise) as my agent may deem necessary to assist in the performance of any of the foregoing.” This provision can no longer be relied upon. A power of attorney must list with specificity the authority or authorities being granted.
If you have any questions, would like us to review your current DPOA or if you would like us to draft a new one for you to sign, please contact us. We are here to help you!