In order to insure your health, peace of mind, and legacy it is crucial that the correct type of Power of Attorney (POA) is established and drawn correctly for your needs. But what is Power of Attorney and how does it play into estate planning? To answer your questions, here’s some guidance from expert New Jersey estate planning attorneys.
What is Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is a legal document which empowers a person of the principal’s choosing also known as an “attorney-in-fact” to act on the principal’s behalf in a wide range of financial, legal and medical matters. In New Jersey, all power of attorney documents require that both the principal and the attorney-in-fact are competent and be of sound mind at the point at which they are executed. Every adult should have a Power of Attorney executed regardless of their health, number of dependents or the assets they own.
Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable POA is typically used to appoint an attorney-in-fact to make healthcare related decisions on behalf of the principal. This type of Power of Attorney goes into effect immediately and ends only upon the death of the principal. This is typically used with elderly individuals preparing for the onset of Alzheimer’s or other debilitating diseases and gives a child broad leverage to manage their affairs even after they become incompetent.
General Power of Attorney
This is the least specific form of POA and gives the appointed person or organization the broadest range of powers to act on your behalf. This kind of POA should be used sparingly due to the wide array of powers it grants. It is only valid while the principle is competent enough to agree to have control relinquished on their behalf. This is the primary difference between a general or nondurable Power of Attorney and a “Durable” Power of attorney.
Speak to your New Jersey estate planning attorney to create a Power of Attorney
At Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC, we will work with you to create a comprehensive, fully customized Power of Attorney as part of your estate plan. We can also assist you with updating your current Power of Attorney documents should you require it. For more information on this and other estate planning documents, including your Last Will and Testament or trusts, please contact us today.