Estate Planning Lawyer in New Jersey Explains Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is an estate planning tool where you appoint a person, known as the agent, to manage your affairs. Typically, the POA is appointed to manage financial or medical matters when you cannot do so yourself because you are incapacitated by illness or injury.
People are often confused, however, as to when and which type of POA is needed. At Hartmann Law, our estate planning attorney will review your estate and specific concerns and advise you if and which POA is best for you, your unique situation, and your estate plan. Contact us either online or at 856-244-1001 to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about how and why a POA can complement your estate plan in New Jersey .
What is a Power of Attorney in New Jersey ?
A power of attorney is the legal authorization for one person, the agent, to act on behalf of another person, the principal. Often referred to as a "POA", they are a common element of estate planning as they let a person who is losing their ability to manage their own affairs choose someone they trust to make decisions for them.
There are six types of POA, described below.
1. Durable POA
A durable POA takes effect immediately upon your signature unless the POA states otherwise and allows your agent to continue acting on your behalf even when you are incapacitated. A durable POA terminates only when you die or when a revocation of POA form is issued.
2. Non-durable POA
A non-durable POA takes effect immediately upon your signature unless the POA states otherwise. It does not allow your agent to continue acting on your behalf when you become incapacitated. In the latter scenario, only a court-appointed guardian or conservator can make decisions on your behalf.
3. Medical POA
A medical POA is sometimes referred to as an advance directive or health care directive because it allows you to appoint a health care agent to make medical decisions for you when you cannot do so. It is limited by your specific medical preferences and any other directive you may have as part of your estate plan, like a living will or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form.
4. General POA
A general POA allocates broad powers to the agent to act on financial, business, real estate, and legal matters. This POA is limited only by the terms set out in the POA or by any relevant state statute.
5. Limited (Special) POA
A limited (Special) POA allows the agent to act for a specific purpose and once that purpose is accomplished, the POA expires. This type of POA is often used for the sale of real estate or other transaction where the principal may be unavailable attend or sign.
6. Springing POA
A springing POA takes effect if/when a certain event or medical condition occurs as specified in the POA. It ends at a specified time as outlined in the POA or if/when you become incapacitated or die.
When is a Power of Attorney Necessary in New Jersey ?
A power of attorney is a useful tool for people who are planning their estate or who have an immediate need or concern, and who understand the importance of selecting and naming an agent to act on their behalf, rather than having one assigned if it becomes necessary.
A POA is common in the following situations:
- The principal is suffering from a worsening medical condition that impacts their mental capacity, like Alzheimer's or dementia
- The principal is physically disabled and cannot sign important documents
- The principal wants to give someone else the power to make specific decisions on their behalf
There are, of course, other reasons why you may need or want a power of attorney created. Speaking to an estate planning attorney in New Jersey is the best way for you to identify and determine what will work best for you.
How is a Power of Attorney Created in New Jersey ?
Each state has its own requirements for creating a letter of attorney, though most are based on the parties and witnesses signing a power of attorney form. Because having the power to make financial and medical decisions for someone else is such a serious matter, each state incorporates formalities that must be followed to:
- Ensure the power of attorney is legitimate; and
- Confirm the person relinquishing their rights is doing it knowingly and voluntarily.
Many states require a witness along with notarization. Contact us in New Jersey to find out exactly what the process is so that you don't make mistakes that could prompt delays or problems.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in New Jersey when You Need a Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney are powerful tools to make sure your finances and other business or personal matters are properly managed while you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to oversee them yourself. You can speak to an estate planning attorney at Hartmann Law to discuss estate planning generally and powers of attorney as part of the estate plan specifically. We always believe that our clients in New Jersey make better choices for themselves and their loved ones when they are well-informed and adequately prepared. Contact us directly at 856-244-1001 or use the link below to schedule a free initial consultation.
Hartmann Law is here to Help You
For more than 20 years, Angela Rich Hartmann has successfully guided her clients through personal legal matters, including the difficult and often emotional process of estate planning. Taking great pride in offering personalized service, Angela Hartmann dedicates her time to learn and understand each Client's needs, not only as it relates to the legal matter, but as it relates to them as a person. Perhaps even more so than other areas of law, understanding a Client's objectives, goals, and values are essential within within Estate Law. Properly planned, their Legacy is ensured. Making this connection, Angela Hartmann has been able to successfully develop long lasting professional relationships with many of her Clients. With gratitude, each new Client who has been referred by an existing or former Client, is seen as the highest compliment of her service, and a sign that personal attention is an unequaled service that remains sought in the automated, impersonal digital age. Contact Hartmann Law today.
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