By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

The New York law governing power of attorney permits you, the person signing and establishing a power of attorney, to appoint in that document a person to watch or "monitor" the actions of the agent appointed by you under the power of attorney. The Monitor is given by law the right to ask for a copy of the power of attorney and any documents the agent signed/used to carry out transactions for you. You could go further and authorize the monitor to receive copies of bank and brokerage statements, gift tax returns, etc. Consideration should also be given to indemnifying the person serving as monitor so he/she does not have to be as fearful of a suit. The concept has tremendous merit and could, if used, reduce the incidences of agents abusing powers of attorney. If you don't reside in NY you should discuss the concept of using a monitor in your powers of attorney with your lawyer and he/she might use the NY statute as a model of some of the concepts to use in your document.

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