Asking about New York state specifically, but curious about an answer towards any state.

In one durable General Power of Attorney agreement:

Party A has agency over Party B    (A is the agent, B is the principal.)

In a second, separate durable General Power of Attorney agreement:

Party B has agency over Party C    (B is the agent, C is the principal.)

Assuming both B and C are incapacitated...

Can A make determinations for party C, acting in their B's / C's best interest? Is there a special term for this?

1 Answer 1


This will be jurisdiction-specific, because though most states do not construe general powers of attorney as authorizing further delegation of power (at least by default), the specifics will vary with the jurisdiction.

In New York, N.Y. Gen. Oblig. Law § 5-1502A provides that a statutory short form power of attorney (even one which delegates full powers over all matters) "shall not include authorization for the agent to designate a third party to act as agent for the principal". Therefore, if the form authorized by the state legislature is used, the second power of attorney did not authorize Person B to further delegate any of Person A's decisionmaking power to Person C.

However, it is possible that a non-statutory power of attorney specifically provides that the agent has the power to delegate their powers under the power of attorney, or to designate another agent. Whether that provision would be valid would likely depend on the facts of the case and the particular jurisdiction.

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