Power of Attorney Ocean and Monmouth County, NJ
Helping Clients with Power of Attorney issues in Monmouth and Ocean County towns including Point Pleasant, Toms River, Jackson, and Brick.
Many of us are getting older or have older parents, and are concerned with planning for the future. This often leads to questions about how best to address financial affairs and who will manage important matters on our behalf if we are unable to do it for some reason. Our attorneys can help you plan ahead and protect your future interests by having a power of attorney drafted. We are skilled in financial planning and will discuss your needs and what documents are right for you and your family.
What is Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document drafted on behalf of the principal (the person seeking the document) appointing a person (agent) to act on their behalf. The agent is chosen by the principal to assist in managing the person’s legal, financial, or medical affairs.
General Power of Attorney in New Jersey
It is common for a person to seek a Power of Attorney that grants the agent the legal authority to act on the principal’s behalf when the principal is incapacitated. The agent then acts as they would if they were the principal. The general Power of Attorney does not give an agent the authority to do as they choose without keeping the principal in mind, but rather asks the agent to do that which is best for the principal. For example, if the principal would normally pay their mortgage and utility bills every month, the agent would pay the same utilizing the principal’s money. All acts are done with the best interests of the principal in mind.
Power of Attorney for an Event or Specific Length of Time
Importantly, not all powers of attorney documents are for an unspecified length of time and as broad as the above. Some powers of attorneys are specifically tailored to a financial matter. For instance, if you and your spouse are purchasing a home and you are unavailable to sign necessary documents, you may designate or elect your spouse or another to do so for that specific event.
Power of Attorneys Due to Incapacity or Disability
Just as there are different types of powers authorized under the document, you may designate the power of attorney to occur under different circumstances and at different times. For example, as noted above, many general power of attorney documents that assign broad powers to the agent only take effect upon the mental incapacity of the person conferring that power. This means that there is a requirement that the principal can no longer act on his own behalf because he is lacking the mental ability to do so. This incapacity must be demonstrated or documented by a source other than the specified agent (a person acting on his behalf). It is usually proven by a doctor who has treated the principal and can attest to his incapacity.
Power of Attorney Can Take Effect Immediately
Not all Power of Attorneys take effect upon incapacity or disability. In fact, many people wish to make the power of attorney effective immediately, upon the signing of the document. The person designating the power of attorney to their agent will inform the agent of the power of attorney and can explain what is expected of him or her. In some circumstances, people wish to have the document drafted for future use and have no intention of abandoning their affairs immediately. In either case, it is wise to think in advance about what would work best for you and your family in the event that you become older, incapacitated, or unable to manage your affairs.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning and Administration Lawyer to Draft your Power of Attorney Paperwork Today
No matter the type of power attorney, the document only applies during the principal’s lifetime or until revoked. It does not survive the death of the individual. Additionally, to be effective, there are legal requirements that must be met, including drafting a written power of attorney that is signed by the principal.
Whether it is you or a loved one who may need a power of attorney, our firm can provide a better understanding of how these documents work and draft a power of attorney meets your needs.