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Q: how do i help a NYCity friend get Power of Attorney to sign checks for his mom? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: how do i help a NYCity friend get Power of Attorney to sign checks for his mom?
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: mikeginnyc-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 14 Jul 2006 11:38 PDT
Expires: 13 Aug 2006 11:38 PDT
Question ID: 746359
I have a friend who does not have INCOME right now.  He quit his job
to take care of his mother, full-time (she had a stroke and has many
other problems -- she's in her mid-80's.)  My friend does NOT pay
taxes, has no official income to  pay taxes ON ... and at the moment
doesn't even want/can't have income (and, I believe, is insured under

I, on the other hand, am a privileged, upper-middle-class citizen. My
lifestyle is enormously different than his.

His mother, in addition to physical problems, is enormously
challenging and emotionally draining as a personality.  And I think
she's losing some of her faculties.

When she eventually goes, I'd like my friend to be covered with Power
of Attorney, proper set-up of wills, etc., so he can have immediate
access to her savings while he figures out what to do next with his
life.  I believe his name is on the apartment lease, so at least he
will have a place to stay. But at the moment he has no checking
account of his own.

When I've heard of his difficulties getting her to sign checks (a VERY
laborious process) I asked him, how about getting Power of Attorney so
that HE could sign the checks for her.

He thinks that he can't get Power of Attorney if he doesn't have a
checking account or income.  Is that so?

I'm prepared to pay for a lawyer, if I need to, to help him ...but
FIRST I'd like to know if I'd be wasting my time.

Can someone please help me know:

   If you live in New York City,
   are an adult (early 50's),
   but have no current income or bank account ...

   can  you nonetheless gain Power of Attorney
   with the approval of the mother granting it?

Thanks in advance!
Subject: Re: how do i help a NYCity friend get Power of Attorney to sign checks for his mom?
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 14 Jul 2006 12:10 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear mikeginnyc-ga;

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. I
remind you of our disclaimer at the bottom of this page that prohibits
us from giving legal advice. What I am answering with is a matter of
published law and general information that addresses the question you
have posted:

In the State of New York someone can certainly be grated a Durable
General Power of Attorney by another. Here?s the form:


A "Durable" Power of Attorney enables the Agent to act for the
Principal even after the Principal is not mentally competent or
physically able to make decisions. The "Durable" Power of Attorney may
be used immediately, and is effective until it is revoked by the
Principal, or until the Principal's death.


Powers of Attorney are governed by:

New York State Consolidated Laws 
General Obligations
Section 5-1501.  Statutory short form of general power of attorney;
formal requirements; joint agents.

(Specifically in: ?5-1502D. Construction--banking transactions.?)

The lengthy statute says, in part:

?S 5-1502D. Construction--banking transactions. In a statutory short
form power of attorney, the language conferring general authority with
respect to "banking transactions, " must be construed to mean that the
principal authorizes the agent:
  1. To continue, to modify and to terminate any deposit account, or
other banking arrangement made by or on behalf of the principal prior to
the creation of the agency;
  2. To open either in the name of the agent alone, or in the name of
the principal alone, or in both their names jointly or otherwise, a
deposit account of any type with any banker or in any banking
institution selected by the agent, to hire such safe deposit box or
vault space and to make such other contracts for the procuring of other
services made available by any such banker or banking institution as the
agent shall think to be desirable;
  3. To make, to sign and to deliver checks or drafts for any purpose,
to withdraw by check, order or otherwise any funds or property of the
principal deposited with, or left in the custody of, any banker or
banking institution, wherever located, either before or after the
creation of the agency;?

You will note that in this statute of ?formal requirements? there is
absolutely no mention of a minimum requirement that the person to whom
the power of attorney is granted be employed, have an income or a bank
account of his or her own.

I strongly recommend you read this article for detailed answers to
commonly asked questions:


Alternatively, your friend?s mother could simply add his name to her
checking account which would allow him to handle the checks
independently as if they were his own (and technically they would be)
or, as some banks do, add a ?signature card? to her account which
authorizes him to sign checks on her behalf even though he is not
officially on the account. This, of course, would depend on the bank?s
policy ? some do it, some don?t. In addition, the mother can sign and
add a bank document called a POD (Payable-on-death) statement to her
account which essentially pre-authorizes the bank to release any/all
remaining funds to him upon her death. Payable-on-death (POD) bank
accounts are also an effective way to avoid some diffuclties and
delays in probate court when the mother passes away.

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher




Google ://


New York

Power of attorney
mikeginnyc-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
This was an EXCELLENT response -- in content, speed, tone, and helpfulness.

I have enjoyed Google Answers for a long time.  One thing I would love an
answer to, if possible: why is  Google Answers no longer listed on the
list of "MORE" services from the home page.  I couldn't find a link to it,
and had to find it by SEARCHING for "google answers".  I hope it doesn't
mean that the service isn't making enough $ to be listed. I'm hoping,
actually, that not listing it is an oversight that can be corrected.

I am asking, actually, that the researcher find some way to let me know
the answer if possible.  Or at least, to get Google Answers listed again
on the services offered by Google.

At any rate -- this was another (of MANY) successful, and appreciated,
uses of Google Answers.  My thanks to the researcher.

Subject: Re: how do i help a NYCity friend get Power of Attorney to sign checks for his mom?
From: tutuzdad-ga on 14 Jul 2006 13:52 PDT
Thank you for the generous tip! As for the missing link well, we've
wondered about that ourselves. Since we are not Google employees we
aren't privy to the inner workings of Google Answers. Unfortunately
you'll have to get your answer to that question from the Editors. You
can email them at: 

Subject: Re: how do i help a NYCity friend get Power of Attorney to sign checks for his m
From: myoarin-ga on 14 Jul 2006 15:19 PDT
An excellent and detailed answer.
I think adding his name to his mother's bank account(s) could be the
adminstratively easiest solution, creating joint accounts (at best for
all of them, or all those in one bank).  Thus he would continue to
have access after her passing away.

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