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What is a New Jersey Power of Attorney?

The power of attorney form serves as a document that authorizes a close friend or family member to make decisions on your behalf. The power of attorney form is a powerful document, and it is imperative that whoever you grant power of attorney to, is trustworthy. These forms are often used by individuals who would like their affairs handled should they fall ill, or leave the country for an extended period of time, but can be used for a variety of reasons.

Quick Reference:

The person granting permission: the principal, donor, or grantor

The person receiving authorization: the agent, or attorney-in-fact

State Specific:

A New Jersey power of attorney is a power of attorney form complies with Title 46 of New Jersey’s Revised Statutes. These statutes specifically outline the parameters of a legally enforceable power of attorney and ensures that the form, as well as its duties are protected under the law. Here are some of the state’s power of attorney requirements:

  • The document must be signed and dated by a legal, competent adult
  • The form must be signed by at least two witnesses that can attest that the grantor is of sound mind and judgement, and is not under any duress (this proof may also be supplemented by a video or audio recording).
  • A directive that will be implemented when the grantor has been confirmed by a doctor to no longer possess decision-making capabilities

Why Would You Use a New Jersey Power of Attorney Form?

There are many reasons why an individual would use a New Jersey power of attorney. Sometimes a person who is elderly, mentally ill, or of failing health may need someone to handle their affairs. Elderly individuals who may suffer from Alzheimer's or dementia and may no longer be able to handle affairs such as paying bills, or buying or selling property.

A power of attorney form is not only for the sick, or elderly. Power of attorney forms are recommended for the perfectly healthy as well. There are multiple reasons why one would want their agent to handle their affairs, and one of those is business. If the grantor owns a business, then it is important that the agent have the power to run and execute important tasks that involve the company, such as paying employees or vendors. However, as with all power of attorney forms, it is imperative that you clearly state which powers your agent does and does not have. If you do not want your agent to have the power to fire or hire employees, then you must clearly state this in your document.

No one knows what will happen tomorrow, and it is always best to be well prepared in the event of an accident. No matter the situation, one individual’s power of attorney needs will vary from the next. Accordingly, there are many types of power of attorney. Here are some of the most common:

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants a single individual to handle financial matters on behalf of the grantor. However this authorization would become null and void should the principal become incapacitated, or if he or she were to pass away.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable, also known as a statutory power of attorney, is an "extended version" of a general power of attorney because it goes beyond the parameters of a general power of attorney. The term "durable" comes from the fact that this authorization continues over the grantor’s finances if he or she were to become disabled or incapacitated.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited, also known as a special power of attorney, grants limited power to whatever the grantor specifies. In many cases, an agent will have power to handle finances, or make medical decisions, but will not have authority to do other things such as sell property (depending on what the grantor decides). Just like a special power of attorney, the authority diminishes if the grantor dies.

Healthcare Power of Attorney (Proxy Directive)

This form, also known in New Jersey as a proxy directive, grants power to the agent to make important health care decisions on the grantor’s behalf should he or she become incapacitated or unable to make such decisions. For instance, if the grantor were to suffer from Alzheimer's or dementia and not be one the right frame of mind to give medical consent for certain treatments.

Minor Child Power of Attorney

This type of power of attorney allows a parent to grant decision-making rights over their child to a temporary guardian in the case that the parent may not be present during a medical emergency. This form is generally used if the parent must leave the country for a period of time.

Revocation of Power of Attorney

This form is used to end a current power of attorney form, thereby ending the grantor-agent relationship. This form only needs to be signed by the grantor, however, the grantor must be of sound mind to do so.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

This form of power of attorney has the flexibility to be either durable or non-durable. It grants power to the agent, allowing them to buy, sell, and manage real estate on the grantor’s behalf.

Tax Power of Attorney

This form, officially known as Form M-5008-R, allows the agent who is usually a qualified individual such as an accountant, to prepare and submit tax information to the Department of Revenue on behalf of the grantor.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

This type of power of attorney allows the agent to buy, sell, and handle the necessary paperwork with the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles on the grantor’s behalf.

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