Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

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Westchester Elder Law Attorney Anthony J. Enea Offers Insights on New York’s Updated Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney

Westchester County, N.Y. (May 20, 2021) – On June 13, several much-awaited changes to New York State’s Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney (POA) are slated to take effect. Westchester elder law attorney Anthony J. Enea of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP with offices in White Plains and Somers, N.Y. recently shed light on these modifications in an article published by the New York State Bar Association Journal.

“The POA is an extremely important estate planning document, particularly if there are issues regarding one’s health and mental capacity,” said Anthony J. Enea, who has spent 35 years protecting the rights of seniors, the disabled and their families. “Since the document’s last revision occurred nearly ten years ago, these changes are, understandably, long overdue. The present POA form has been regarded as unduly complicated, prone to improper execution, and burdensome to both prepare and execute – especially for seniors.”

The new modifications are designed to simplify the current document. This includes allowing substantially compliant language rather than requiring exact wording throughout, providing “safe harbor” provisions for those acting in reliance of the POA, and permitting sanctions against any individual or entity (such as a bank or financial institution) that unreasonably refuses to accept a valid POA.

“Agents will now be able to gift up to $5,000 per year (increased from the previous limit of $500) without requiring a modification to the form,” explained Enea. “The provisions that previously applied to the Statutory Gifts Rider have also been removed. All gifting powers beyond the $5,000 per year need to be stated in the ‘Modifications’ section of the POA.”

The updated POA enables a person to sign at the direction of the principal if he or she is physically unable to sign. It also clarifies the obligations of the agent under the POA to keep records and receipts as well as the agent’s authority related to financial matters concerning the principal’s health care.

Enea’s article, “The Long Awaited Modifications to the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney Have Been Enacted,” offers further details on the new POA revisions and is available at:

An “AV” Rated Preeminent Attorney (Martindale-Hubbell) and strong leader in Westchester’s legal community, Anthony J. Enea is president of the Westchester County Bar Foundation and chair of the New York State Bar Association’s 50+ Lawyers Section. He is also a past president of the Westchester County Bar Association and past chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Special Needs Section. Named Westchester County’s Leading Elder Care Attorney at the Above the Bar Awards, Mr. Enea’s practice areas include Wills, Trusts & Estates, Elder Law; Medicaid asset protection planning; Medicaid applications (home care and nursing home); special needs planning and guardianships (Article 81 and 17-A).

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is located at 245 Main Street in White Plains, N.Y. with additional offices in Somers, N.Y. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 914-269-2367 or visit

About Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is an AV preeminent rated elder law firm with offices in White Plains and Somers, N.Y. The practice concentrates on Elder Law; Medicaid Planning; Nursing Home and Home Care Applications; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Guardianships; Estate Litigation; Supplemental Needs Trusts; and Special Needs Planning. Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP serves Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Queens and is committed to providing the highest quality legal services to seniors, the disabled and their families. Visit the firm online at

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Elder law attorney Anthony J. Enea, member at Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP