From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My mother, who lives in Gloucester County, New Jersey, is having serious health problems. She wants me to be able to use her general power of attorney, but it says I need a doctor’s note saying that she is incapacitated. Is that normal?
Your mother has a “Leaping” Power of Attorney, which at one time was the normal document that Gloucester County estate planning lawyers would prepare. A Leaping Power of Attorney gives the “Agent” the power to act for the person if-and only if-that person has become incapacitated and the Agent can secure a letter from the person’s doctor certifying that face. Without the doctor’s letter, the power of attorney is useless.