The New Jersey durable power of attorney is a document used for transferring legal powers from one person to another. The person transferring their powers is called the principal, while the person representing the principal is called the agent or the attorney-in-fact.
The principal can authorize the agent to represent them before governmental, financial, legal, or other institutions and third parties.
The term durable means that the power of attorney will remain valid and effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
The principal can use the durable power of attorney in every situation where they are not able to represent themselves personally. This can be caused by the principal's mental disability, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Durable Power of Attorney Laws & Requirements in New Jersey
Laws & Requirements
Relevant laws: Title 46, Section 2B - Revised Durable Power of Attorney Act
Signing requirements: The New Jersey durable power of attorney must be signed by the principal and at least one witness. (§ 46:2B-8.9)
Statutory form: The New Jersey Statute doesn’t provide the statutory form for a durable power of attorney. However, the Statute provides the language that should be used at § 46:2B-8.2.
“Durable” definition: According to the New Jersey Statute, the quality of being durable essentially means that “this power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal, or lapse of time,” or ” this power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal,” or similar words. (§ 46:2B-8.2(b))
How to Fill out a Durable Power of Attorney in New Jersey
#1. Designate an Agent
Firstly, you should name the person who is going to represent you. When choosing the agent, you should look for an adult who has legal capacity. Moreover, you should choose a person you can trust, especially if you are going to authorize them to make decisions about your finances and health care.
In certain situations where you need someone to act on your behalf before the tax or other legal authorities, you should authorize a professional to represent you as your agent. That can be an accountant, a lawyer, a tax advisor, or another professional specializing in the relevant field.
#2. Grant Authority
After you have named your agent, you should define their scope of authority.
The New Jersey durable power of attorney form provides three ways in which you can determine the scope of authority:
Scope of Authority
General authority. By using the general authorization, you will enable your agent to take all the necessary actions and interact with all the third parties on your behalf. You can also limit the general authority by providing a list of actions the agent is not allowed to take.
Partial authority. Here, you can select the activities that you want to include in your agent’s scope of authority from the list of authorities provided in the durable power of attorney form. You can select the relevant activities by signing your initials next to them.
Special authority. This option gives you the most flexibility since you can define the scope of authority in your own words. In this way, you can include even the activities that are not provided in the durable power of attorney form.
#3. Ensure the Form is Durable
In New Jersey, a power of attorney is not durable by default, meaning that you will have to include specific terms when drafting the document to make your power of attorney durable.
#4. Sign the Form
The principal, or another person in their conscious presence and guided by them, should sign the durable power of attorney. The agent and at least one witness must also sign the document.
#5. Notarize the Form
In New Jersey, the durable power of attorney must be notarized. Therefore, the principal must make sure they sign the document in front of a notary public to make it valid and legally binding.
#6. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form
After finalizing the document, make sure you keep the original copy in your possession and store it in a safe place.
How to Revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in New Jersey
The best way to revoke the New Jersey durable power of attorney is to issue a revocation letter. This letter should include information about the agent, the date of issuing the power of attorney, and any other information that will individualize the power of attorney you wish to revoke.
For the revocation to take effect, you should give one copy to the agent and to any third party the agent is interacting with on your behalf.