In the state of New Jersey, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a legal document that gives an agent the power and ability to make decisions on the behest of the principal. The DPOA is drawn to handle matters related to health, finance, real estate, etc. Unlike regular POAs, the DPOAs are meant for the long-term.
What is a New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney?
Under the Advanced Directives for Health Care, section 26:2H-53, et seq., in New Jersey, a DPOA is required and often used to confer upon a chosen individual powers which s/he can use to make important decisions regarding the principal’s health care and/or end-of-life decisions.
The legal documents contain stipulations such as accepting or refusing treatment from a healthcare provider. It allows the agent to choose or refuse a particular medical procedure, patient care services, life-sustaining procedures, use of any medical device or drugs, artificial ways to maintain a vital body function, or using resuscitation methods on behalf of the principal.
How Does the New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney Work?
Filling up a New Jersey durable power of attorney form will help you in determining what powers you want the agent to have. The form lists down all the necessary information for both the principal and the agent and any future third party. DPOA can be general or very specific. The law states certain legal requirements that are to be fulfilled in a DPOA:
- The principal must be a competent adult at the time of the formulation of the DPOA.
- DPOA must be properly signed and dated.
- Witnesses present during the signing of the document must be of sound body and mind.
A DPOA can be canceled, and the power of the agent can be revoked by:
- Executing a subsequent directive canceling the DPOA
- Oral and written notification
- In the event of a divorce, when one of the spouses is the agent for another
Who Needs a New Jersey Durable Power of Attorney?
Having a DPOA can be very useful in the case when you suddenly become incapacitated due to an accident or illness, if you are a resident in New Jersey. In that case, to get your guardianship, your kin may have to go through a tiresome and expensive legal process.
Having a DPOA drawn beforehand will allow you to choose a trustworthy and able individual to act as your Agent. An NJ power of attorney form can come in effect immediately should you become debilitated.
What are the requirements for the principal to create a DPOA?
To formulate a DPOA, a principal must have a clear understanding of the powers that are being granted to the Agent. If in case, the principal lacks the required mental capacity, then the DPOA cannot be drawn.
What powers can be granted to the agent under DPOA?
Under the New Jersey law, the Principal can confer any of the following powers onto the Agent:
- Financial transactions
- Social security benefits
- Charitable gifts
- Tax matters
- Real estate transactions
- Personal affairs
- Unemployment benefits
- Military benefits
Can an agent sell or rent out the property belonging to the principal?
Yes. Under DPOA, an agent can sell/rent/lease any real estate, for any term, on behalf of the Principal.
What are the things an agent cannot do under DPOA?
Even if the principal extends the authorization under DPOA, an agent cannot do certain things such as:
- Cannot practice law unless s/he is a licensed member of the New Jersey Bar
- Cannot sign a statement on behalf of the Principal declaring that the principal knows something confidential
- Cannot vote in an election
- Cannot draw or revoke a will for the Principal
Can the agent make any healthcare-related decisions even if the Principal is completely capable of doing so?
No, the Agent only obtains the responsibility/power to make any decision only after a physician has deemed that the Principal is unable or incapable of making an informed decision.
If you are planning to create a DPOA or any other kind of power of attorney, visit CocoSign and download the requisite printable power of attorney form NJ.
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