I am examining a 9 page POA which I suspect does not conform to the amendments to the New York Power of Attorney Law sections of the General Obligations Law.
The New York Legislature has passed amendments to the New York Power of Attorney Law, Sections 5-1501–5-1514 of the General Obligations Law, which became effective on September 13, 2010. I am examining a 9 page POA dated subsequent to that date.
The page on which the principal's signature appears, the page on which the agent's signature appears and the page on which the signatures of the 2 witnesses appear are 3 different pages and the notary public signature is present only on the very last page - the page on which the signatures of the 2 witnesses appear - and nowhere else in the entire document. The notary public is one of the 2 witnesses.
There is no date anywhere on the page on which the principal's signature appears.
1. Does the fact that neither of the 2 different pages - the one on which the principal's signature appears and the other page on which the agent's signature appears - is notarized render this POA statutorily invalid or is it enough to satisfy the requirements of the changes to New York's General Obligations Law that only the last page of a multi-page POA be notarized?
2. Does the absence of a either a date or a notary stamp anywhere on the page on which the principal's signature appears satisfy the requirements of the changes to New York's General Obligations Law or is this POA rendered statutorily invalid by the absence of each?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I say no; the Power of Attorney is not valid as the signatures of the principal and agent are not acknowledged as required by GOL 5-1501B(1)(b) and (c).
As a practical matter though, the third party to whom the Power of Attorney is presented may accept the Power of Attorney anyway, being unaware the document is not executed properly.
What does the acknowledgment block say before the notary's signature? Does it say "before me came (the principal) and (the agent) and (the witnesses), whose identity . . .?" If your principal is incapacitated and the Power of Attorney can't be redrafted, then you may have to hang your hat on that, if all parties' names are included in the notary block. I think you've got problems though, depending on whom you represent, of course.
And if you're representing the third party to whom the Power of Attorney has been presented, if it were me I'd lean towards rejecting the document for the reasons stated.
Redact the PoA with your pdf program and I'll take a second look at it for you. Richard@probate.nyc.
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