Powers Of Attorney For Financial Matters

Helping You Prepare for the Future

We all would like to believe we will be healthy and of sound mind throughout our lives and always able to care for ourselves. There may come a time, however, when we will need the help of a trusted person to make important decisions on our behalf.

You identify the people you trust by executing a power of attorney giving them the authority to make decisions about your finances, medical care and end-of-life matters if you become unable to make them for yourself. The time to designate your representative is now, when you have the capacity to do so. Waiting too long can prevent your wishes from being carried out, can result in unnecessary expenses and delays, and cause you to miss important planning opportunities. At the law office of Michael C. Rudolph, Esq., P.A., in Kinnelon, New Jersey, I have helped numerous clients with a variety of powers of attorney that clearly set out the authority given to your representatives and your wishes should you become critically ill.

Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a document by which you (the Principal) designate someone as your Agent or Attorney-In-Fact, and give that person the authority to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. Typically, the Agent is a family member or a trusted friend. You can limit your Agent's level of authority to a single transaction (limited power of attorney), or you can give your Agent broad powers to do anything you could do if you were well. Powers of attorney are usually effective from the time they are executed until the time they are revoked or until the death of the principal. Powers of attorney can be set up to go into effect only upon your incapacity. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this.

Most people don't realize it, but one spouse does not have the right to sign checks or legal documents for the other spouse unless there is a validly executed power of attorney. In some cases, a power of attorney can be as important as a will, because it involves the exercise of discretion for the best interests of the principal for the rest of his/her life.

A power of attorney is called "durable" when it contains specific language that it is to remain in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. Without the durability language, a power of attorney would become invalid with the principal's incapacity, defeating the entire purpose of executing the document.

Advance Directives (Living Wills)

Schedule an Initial Consultation

Call 973-850-4121 or contact my office online to discuss your questions with a lawyer. I offer appointments at my Kinnelon and Oakland offices for your convenience. I am available during regular business hours or by appointment. Both offices are handicap accessible.

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