A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person the right to act on your behalf when you can no longer do so. As the person who creates the document, you are known as the principal. The person you are giving legal authority to is called your attorney-in-fact. The legal document gives your agent clear and concise instructions on how you want your assets and financial affairs handled.
The appointment of your agent can be for a specific period of time and can be revoked at any time. All power of attorney documents cease at the time of your death. Once you die with a will, your executor takes over the agent’s responsibility of handling your affairs. If you die without a will, the probate court gains control over your affairs. Regardless of your income or marital status, it’s important for everyone to know how you want your affairs handled.
Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith has a history of success over the last 30 years in northern New Jersey helping people create or modify power of attorney documents.
Types of Power of Attorney in New Jersey
You can choose a specific power of attorney document based on your needs. The following are three types:
- General Power of Attorney
- Limited Power of Attorney
- Durable Power of Attorney
General Power of Attorney in NJ
This power of attorney allows your agent to handle your business affairs which includes your finances and any assets you have. It provides extensive powers to the agent that include:
- Buying property
- Selling property
- Entering into a contract
- Filing tax returns
- Handling government benefits
- Purchasing a life insurance policy
A general power of attorney is for a specific timeframe such as when you’re traveling out of the country, sick or otherwise incapacitated.
Durable Power of Attorney in NJ
A durable power of attorney starts immediately after you sign it. Your agent controls all of your general affairs such as health care decisions and finances. This power of attorney continues until your death.
Limited Power of Attorney in NJ
With a limited power of attorney, your agent only acts for one specific reason. For instance, you may give your best friend limited power to sell your out-of-state property. The legal document becomes effective immediately upon signing. It also has a designated expiration date.
There are two types of limited powers of attorney:
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Non-Durable Powers of Attorney
The durable power of attorney remains in effect even if you become disabled. A non-durable power of attorney terminates if you become incompetent or disabled.
Accidents, unexpected events and sudden illness can always happen. Although you know how you want your affairs handled, it’s important to outline specific instructions in a power of attorney document. You don’t have to worry about someone taking control of your affairs you don’t like or inappropriately handling them. Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith is ready to assist you in preparing or changing a power of attorney.