New York Consolidated Laws, General Obligations Law - GOB § 5-1504. Acceptance of statutory short form power of attorney

1. No third party located or doing business in this state shall refuse, without reasonable cause, to honor a statutory short form power of attorney properly executed in accordance with section 5-1501B of this title, including a statutory short form power of attorney which is supplemented by a statutory gifts rider, or a statutory short form power of attorney properly executed in accordance with the laws in effect at the time of its execution.

(a) Reasonable cause under this subdivision shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) the refusal by the agent to provide an original power of attorney or a copy certified by an attorney pursuant to section twenty-one hundred five of the civil practice law and rules , or by a court or other government entity;

(2) the third party's good faith referral of the principal and the agent to the local adult protective services unit;

(3) actual knowledge of a report having been made by any person to the local adult protective services unit alleging physical or financial abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of the principal by the agent;

(4) actual knowledge of the principal's death or a reasonable basis for believing the principal has died;

(5) actual knowledge of the incapacity of the principal or a reasonable basis for believing that the principal is incapacitated where the power of attorney tendered is a nondurable power of attorney;

(6) actual knowledge or a reasonable basis for believing that the principal was incapacitated at the time the power of attorney was executed;

(7) actual knowledge or a reasonable basis for believing that the power of attorney was procured through fraud, duress or undue influence;

(8) actual notice, pursuant to subdivision three of this section, of the termination or revocation of the power of attorney;  or

(9) the refusal by a title insurance company to underwrite title insurance for a gift of real property made pursuant to a statutory gifts rider or non-statutory power of attorney that does not contain express instructions or purposes of the principal.

(b) It shall be deemed unreasonable for a third party to refuse to honor a statutory short form power of attorney, including a statutory short form power of attorney which is supplemented by a statutory gifts rider, or a statutory short form power of attorney properly executed in accordance with the laws in effect at the time of its execution, if the only reason for the refusal is any of the following:

(1) the power of attorney is not on a form prescribed by the third party to whom the power of attorney is presented.

(2) there has been a lapse of time since the execution of the power of attorney.

(3) on the face of the statutory short form power of attorney, there is a lapse of time between the date of acknowledgment of the signature of the principal and the date of acknowledgment of the signature of any agent.

2. Except as provided in subdivision three of this section, it shall be deemed unlawful for a third party to unreasonably refuse to honor a properly executed statutory short form power of attorney, including a statutory short form power of attorney which is supplemented by a statutory gifts rider, or a statutory short form power of attorney properly executed in accordance with the laws in effect at the time of its execution.  A special proceeding as authorized by section 5-1510 of this title shall be the exclusive remedy for a violation of this section.

3. In the absence of actual knowledge that the principal lacked capacity to execute a statutory short form power of attorney or that the statutory short form power of attorney was procured through fraud, duress or undue influence, no third party receiving and retaining a properly executed statutory short form power of attorney, including a statutory short form power of attorney which is supplemented by a statutory gifts rider or a statutory short form power of attorney properly executed in accordance with the laws in effect at the time of its execution, or a complete photostatic copy of the properly executed original thereof, nor any officer, agent, attorney-in-fact or employee of such third party shall incur any liability by reason of acting upon the authority thereof unless the third party shall have received actual notice of the revocation or termination of such power of attorney.

If a principal maintains an account at a financial institution, the financial institution is deemed to have actual notice after it has had a reasonable opportunity to act on a written notice of the revocation or termination following its receipt of the same at its office where such account is located.

4. If the application of the provisions of subdivision one or two of this section shall be held invalid to any third party the application of such provisions to any third party other than those to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.

5. When the power of attorney is presented to a third party, it shall not be deemed unreasonable for a third party to require the agent to execute an acknowledged affidavit pursuant to this subdivision stating that the power of attorney is in full force and effect.  Such an affidavit is conclusive proof to the third party relying on the power of attorney that the power of attorney is valid and effective, and has not been terminated, revoked or modified, except as to any third party who had actual notice that the power of attorney had terminated, been revoked or been modified prior to the execution of the affidavit.  Such affidavit shall state that:

(a) the agent does not have, at the time of the transaction, actual notice of the termination or revocation of the power of attorney, or notice of any facts indicating that the power of attorney has been terminated or revoked;

(b) the agent does not have, at the time of the transaction, actual notice that the power of attorney has been modified in any way that would affect the ability of the agent to authorize or engage in the transaction, or notice of any facts indicating that the power of attorney has been so modified;  

(c) if the agent was named as a successor agent, the prior agent is no longer able or willing to serve;  and

(d) if the agent has been the principal's spouse, the power of attorney expressly provides that divorce or annulment as defined in subparagraph two of paragraph (f) of section 5-1.4 of the estates, powers and trusts law does not terminate the agent's authority thereunder, or the agent does not have actual notice that the marriage has been terminated by divorce or annulment as defined in subparagraph two of paragraph (f) of section 5-1.4 of the estates, powers and trusts law at the time of the transaction.

6. Nothing in this section shall require the acceptance of a form that is not a statutory short form power of attorney.

7. A statutory short form power of attorney or a non-statutory power of attorney that meets the requirements of subdivision one of section 5-1501B of this title shall be accepted for recording so long as it has been signed by one agent named therein whose signature has been acknowledged.  If two or more agents acting on behalf of the principal are required to act together, the power of attorney shall be accepted for recording as long as their signatures have been acknowledged.  When a successor or co-agent authorized to act separately from any other agents presents a certified copy of a recorded statutory short form power of attorney or non-statutory power of attorney with the agent's signature acknowledged, the instrument shall be accepted for recording.


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