A power of appointment is a power that allows the person who holds the power (the donee) to change who will benefit from the property, even though the donee does not legally own the property. By giving the power to appoint property, the person who creates the power postpones and delegates the decision about who will benefit from the property.

EPTL 10-3.1 defines a power of appointment as “an authority created or reserved by a person having property subject to his disposition, enabling the donee to designate, within such limits as may be prescribed by the donor, the appointees of the property or the shares or the manner in which such property shall be received.”