Obtaining a Durable Power of Attorney in New Jersey Now Prevents Immense Expenses and Challenges for Your Loved Ones in the Future

Durable Power of Attorney for SeniorsThe laws within the State of New Jersey provides for the designation of a Power of Attorney. This is a specially-designed legal document that allows a designated agent to act on the behalf of a person that signs the document.

The signer of the document is referred to as a “principal” or a “grantor”. A standard Power of Attorney is not longer valid should the signer experience any level of incapacitation. Examples of incapacitation include – but are not limited to – the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness, comatose, or any other medical condition that results in a person becoming incapable of an important function, an act, or a strength.

In some instances, incapacitation is physical. In other cases, it is cognitive/intellectual. Then, there are cases where it consists of both physical and cognitive/intellectual incapability.

If you are reading this, it is important to understand that, while a standard Power of Attorney offers many advantages, no one is immune to situations, events, and medical conditions that may result in incapacitation. Should you get a standard Power of Attorney and experience an unexpected major stroke, for example, that results in any degree of incapability, the Power of Attorney that you have will no longer be effective.

Regardless of your current age, mental state, or medical history, it is best to opt for a Durable Power of Attorney – right from the beginning.

In taking this step today, you are helping your loved ones avoid an immense amount of expenses and challenges in the future. Furthermore, you are ensuring that your loved ones will be the ones handling your medical care, financial care, and other forms of care, rather than a state-designated official.

If you only have a standard Power of Attorney in place and you become incapacitated, your loved ones will be required to pursue a costly, time-consuming, and difficult Guardianship over your person and/or property.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney gives specific authorities to a specific individual – whom you name – to make extremely important decisions and continues to remain in effect, regardless of whether or not you become disabled, incompetent in some way, or completely incapacitated.

This legal document typically outlines a total of 13 specific “powers”. You may choose to give the person you are granting the Durable Power of Attorney to one power, several powers, or all powers – the choice is yours. Below, you will find an outline of the most commonly included powers that are designated on the New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney:

1. Real Property Transactions
2. Tangible Personal Property Transactions
3. Stock and Bond Transactions
4. Commodity and Option Transactions
5. Banking and Other Financial Institution Transactions
6. Business Operating Transactions
7. Insurance and Annuity Transactions
8. Estate, Trust, and Other Beneficiary Transactions
9. Claims and Litigation
10. Personal and Family Maintenance
11. Benefits from Social Security, Medicate, Medicaid, or Other Governmental Programs or Military Service
12. Retirement Plan Transactions
13. Tax Matters

In addition to choosing one, several, or all powers within a Durable Power of Attorney in the State of New Jersey, there is usually a section listed as “Special Instructions”. In this section, you may write in special instructions that limit or extend the powers that you have provided/authorized to your representing agent on the document.

The following provides a sample form that may be used to create a Durable Power of Attorney in the State of New Jersey: www.adamslawgroup.com/design/uploadedForms/NJ-POA-durable.doc

Choosing an Individual You Wish to Designate in the Durable Power of Attorney

Now that you understand the difference between a standard Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney, and how important it is to opt for the Durable Power of Attorney, it is time to determine who you want to designate as your Durable Power of Attorney in the State of New Jersey.

This person is one who will have to – potentially – handle legal affairs, financial affairs, and make health care choices. In the best case, you will want to choose someone who has experience in these matters or unique qualities to appropriately handle the decisions that need to be made. Ideally, look for the following characteristics:

1. The individual should be one who is highly attentive to detail.
2. The person should understand finances and have some degree of understanding on business matters.
3. They should be able to collaborate with and handle situations involving lawyers, medical professionals, accountants, and other types of professionals.
4. They should be highly responsible people who take their commitments seriously.
5. The person who will be the New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney should have top-notch record-keeping abilities.

You should trust the individual that you designate. That individual should understand your values. Additionally, you should be confident that they will act in your best interest. In most instances, people designate loved ones – such as their spouse, their child, or a parent – as a Durable Power of Attorney.

In other instances, one may designate a senior care advisor to the task. When filling out a Durable Power of Attorney form, it is advised that you consult a senior care advisor for assistance on this matter.


This blog (at BeaconSeniorAdvisors.com/blog”) is a service made available by Beacon Senior Advisors. This blog does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice.

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