Gov. Kathy Hochul recently vetoed a bill that would have drastically changed the notification requirements for trust beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Bill No. S8892, introduced by Sen. James Skoufis (D-39), sought to add a new section to the General Obligations Law that would have required trustees and/or trust beneficiaries to notify all other co-trustees and/or co-beneficiaries in writing when signing a Power of Attorney appointing an agent. The proposed bill also required the trustees and/or beneficiaries signing the Power of Attorney to reveal the agent’s identity.
The stated intent of the bill was to prevent a non-party from raiding the trust under color of their authority as agent by notice to interested parties. Opponents to the bill cited the unnecessary administrative burden and confidentiality concerns this requirement would impose on beneficiaries and fiduciaries.
The proposed bill also sparked debates among members of the New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Law Section as to whether or not the current law even allows for a fiduciary to delegate their duties to an agent using a general Power of Attorney.
Governor Hochul vetoed the bill on December 16, 2022. Ultimately, the proposed bill highlights the need for further development and clarification of the Power of Attorney law in New York.
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