Purposeful Advocacy for New Jersey
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What Is a Power of Attorney?

People create an estate plan in order to prepare for what will happen to their assets after their death. When this is done, people often wish to appoint a power of attorney as well. Sometimes, individuals reach a point in their life where they are no longer capable of making decisions for themselves. When this happens, their power of attorney is given the right to make decisions for them with their consent. This may be the case if the individual’s mental or physical health deteriorated to the point where they can no longer communicate their own desires. Because of this, the power of attorney is selected to represent the individual’s wishes.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a person who is given the right to make decisions for another when they can no longer do so themselves. If an individual is dying or incapable of communicating their own desires, another person may be given the authority to make these decisions on their behalf. This person must be someone who can be trusted to will act in another’s best interest. Many people choose a family member or a loved one to represent them. The power of attorney should document all of the individual’s wishes so they are able to make the proper decisions if the time comes.

It is important to note that the power of attorney does not have unlimited authority. They are allowed a certain amount of influence depending on the individual who appoints them. This power can be limited. A power of attorney can be given several responsibilities. This may regard health emergencies, financial access, as well as other matters. Every power of attorney may have different responsibilities.

Categories for Power of Attornies

There are many different categories that cover the responsibilities a power of attorney may be given. These categories are broken up depending on what they are in charge of deciding. The most common categories in New Jersey are as follows:

  • General Power of Attorney: This allows the appointed individual to conduct the same fiscal actions that a person would do for themselves. This may require filing taxes, executing contracts, or borrowing money.

  • Limited Power of Attorney: This individual has more of a limited power than that of a general power attorney. They are restricted in the amount of authority they are given.

  • Durable Power of Attorney: This allows the individual to make all financial affairs on another’s behalf.

  • Guardianship Power of Attorney: The may allow an individual to care for another’s minor child as well as make all medical and educational for them.

  • Medical Power of Attorney: This allows an individual to make health care decisions for another.

  • Minor Child Guardianship Power of Attorney: This individual allows the parent of a minor to select another person to handle the medical and educational choices for that minor.

  • Tax Power of Attorney: This allows another individual, typically an accountant, to handle the filing of taxes with the state.

  • Vehicle Power of Attorney: This permits the owner of a vehicle to choose an individual to take care of the transfer of ownership.

Contact Our Firm

If you have been assigned as a power of attorney and wish to consult a legal representative, contact Velasco Law Office today.

Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.