One of the most valuable documents a person in New Jersey can include in their estate plan is a durable power of attorney. In this document, a person can select someone who will make financial decisions on the person’s behalf should the person be physically or mentally unable to do so. Without a power of attorney, guardianship must be ordered by the court, which can be costly both in time and money. However, it is important that this document is both current and comprehensive. A durable power of attorney should contain proper provisions with regards to transfers or Medicaid planning.
A person should note that in 2004 the state made changes to the laws regarding power of attorney. These changes made it mandatory for such documents to contain provisions about gifting and asset preservation / Medicaid planning wherein specific authorization is given.
Therefore, it is important that a power of attorney created prior to 2004 be reviewed to ensure it will be enforceable given the current state of the law. Also, people should avoid drafting a boilerplate power of attorney. Each person’s situation is unique, so it is important that their power of attorney meets their specific needs.
The attorneys at our firm understand how important it is to have a durable power of attorney as part of an estate plan. In fact, two of our lawyers are certified in elder law. This distinction only applies to 450 lawyers in the United States. We aim to assist people in executing a power of attorney that takes into account their particular life circumstances and wishes. The power of attorney overview on our website may be a good source of information for those who want to learn more about this topic.