Making A Financial Power Of Attorney
March 20, 2023
A power of attorney in New Jersey is a legal document that grants legal rights and powers to an agent or attorney-in-fact to act on behalf of the principal on financial, business, health care, and personal life care matters if the principal ever becomes incapacitated or unavailable. New Jersey allows several types of POAs, including financial and medical POAs. To be valid in New Jersey, a financial POA must meet certain requirements, such as notarization. Steps for making a financial POA in New Jersey include creating the document using a form, software or attorney, signing it in the presence of a notary, storing the original in a safe place, and giving a copy to your agent or attorney-in-fact. A comprehensive durable power of attorney is an effective and cost-effective alternative to a court-ordered guardianship in New Jersey.
The statute governing power of attorney in New Jersey is the Revised Durable Power of Attorney Act, Chapter 46:2B. This act outlines the definitions and requirements of powers of attorney in New Jersey. It defines a power of attorney as a written instrument by which the principal authorizes another individual or individuals or a qualified bank to act on their behalf. The act also defines a durable power of attorney as one that remains in effect even after the principal's subsequent disability or incapacity. In addition, the act specifies the powers that may be granted by a durable power of attorney and the requirements for its execution.
A financial power of attorney in New Jersey can grant a wide range of powers to the agent or attorney-in-fact to act on behalf of the principal. Some examples of powers that can be granted through a financial power of attorney in New Jersey include:
Managing bank accounts and finances
Paying bills, debts, and taxes
Buying, selling, and managing real estate and personal property
Investing and managing investments
Operating a business
Filing tax returns and representing the principal in tax matters
Applying for government benefits
Accessing safe deposit boxes
Making legal claims and conducting litigation
Applying for loans and credit
These are just some examples of the powers that can be granted through a financial power of attorney in New Jersey. The specific powers granted will depend on the language of the document and the wishes of the principal. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that the power of attorney document meets all legal requirements and accurately reflects the principal's wishes.
In New Jersey, a power of attorney must be properly acknowledged in order to be valid. To acknowledge a power of attorney, the principal must sign the document in the presence of a notary public. The notary public will then certify the signature and attach a notarial certificate to the document. The notarial certificate includes information such as the date of the acknowledgment, the name of the person signing the document, and the notary's signature and seal. The notary public will also confirm the identity of the person signing the document by verifying their identification documents, such as a driver's license or passport. Once the power of attorney has been properly acknowledged, it can be used by the attorney-in-fact to manage the principal's affairs according to the powers granted in the document.
The main difference between a power of attorney that is effective immediately and one that is effective upon incapacity is the timing of when the agent or attorney-in-fact can act on behalf of the principal. A power of attorney that is effective immediately allows the agent to act on behalf of the principal as soon as the document is signed and notarized. This means that the agent can manage the principal's affairs even if the principal is still capable of managing them himself or herself.
On the other hand, a power of attorney that is effective upon incapacity only allows the agent to act on behalf of the principal if the principal becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to manage his or her own affairs. This type of power of attorney is also known as a "springing" power of attorney because it "springs" into effect upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as incapacity.
It is important to carefully consider the timing of the power of attorney when creating the document. An immediate power of attorney can be useful for convenience and flexibility, but it also gives the agent a lot of power and responsibility that may not be necessary. A power of attorney that is effective upon incapacity provides more protection for the principal but may be more difficult to implement if the agent has to prove the principal's incapacity in order to act on his or her behalf.
To revoke a power of attorney in New Jersey, the principal must complete a revocation . This form can be produced with the help of an estate planning attorney or obtained from a legal document service. The form should include the identity of the principal and the power of attorney document that is being revoked. Once the form is completed, the principal must provide notice of revocation to all relevant parties, including the formerly-nominated person and any institutions or agencies that were notified of the original power of attorney. Regularly reviewing and updating your power of attorney is important to ensure your wishes are still accurately reflected.