Why it is Important to Have a Durable?
While many people have heard of a Last Will and Testament (Will), there are so many other important estate planning documents that can make your life and the lives of your family members much easier in case of a crisis. A durable power of attorney allows an appointed person to make determinations regarding medicine, finances, and more depending on how it is executed. In certain circumstances, this can be vital if an executor becomes incapacitated during the course of their life and are unable to make decisions on their own behalf.
Understanding the Function of a Durable Power of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney will give the legal authority to the named person (the fiduciary) to make serious decisions regarding end-of-life medical issues. The person who creates this document is known as the principal, and he or she must be of sound mind at the time the durable power of attorney documents are officially executed. Additionally, a durable power of attorney can also be created with respect to the financial decisions in the event that the principal becomes incapacitated or is mentally incapable of making a decision on their own behalf in the future.
Why a Durable Power of Attorney is Important
Last Will and Testament documents are important for after a person passes away to divide their estate and assets according to their wishes. However, there are circumstances in which a person may be unable to take care of themselves for some reason during the course of their lifetime due to a medical condition or accident. If that person is unable to make decisions for themselves, a durable power of attorney will follow their wishes and appoint the person named to make decisions on their behalf. In many cases, this is a spouse, child, or close family member.
Creating a Durable Power of Attorney
Every state has a different way that a person can create a durable power of attorney. In the state of New Jersey, a principal selects an agent, which is also known as the fiduciary in some cases. Successor agents should also be chosen in case something happens to that person. A decision will be made regarding exactly when the durable power of attorney will become effective and under what conditions. The document will need to be drafted in writing and must contain the phrase “this power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal, or lapse of time;” the phrase “this power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal;” or some type of similar phrase that conveys that message. Make sure to use the specific durable power of attorney forms available in the state of New Jersey. The principal will sign the power of attorney document in front of a notary public or an attorney that is licensed to practice in the state of New Jersey. New Jersey does not require separate witnesses, but one person must watch the principal sign, and then a witness signature is always recommended. The witness should be a disinterested party, and not a beneficiary or heir.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
Contact an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney at the law firm of Giro Law at 201-690-1642. We can help work with you to ensure you develop an appropriate and effective durable power of attorney.