Why You Need A Power of Attorney
You may assume that a family member could step into your shoes and manage your affairs if the need arose – for example, if you were incapacitated by stroke or other medical condition. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In New Jersey, you need a legal document called a power of attorney to act on another’s behalf.
What Is A Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document designating a person who can act for you if you are incapacitated. The document does not go into effect until you become incapacitated as the result of illness, injury or if you develop a condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
The person you designate has to be someone you trust. In most cases it will be your spouse or other trusted family member.
What Happens if I Don’t Have A Power of Attorney
Without a power of attorney, even your spouse may not be able to act on your behalf. Your family may have to go through the time and expense of a guardianship proceeding before someone can make financial decisions for you.
At Oliver & Legg, our lawyers will work with you to craft a power of attorney and other estate planning documents to meet your goals.
For More Information About Powers of Attorney
Learn more: What is a health care power of attorney or living will?