I am a New Jersey resident. Now that I have married my partner, I would like to give her a General Durable Power of Attorney, but am concerned about surrendering so much power over my assets. I have heard stories about spouses abusing Powers of Attorney. How can I protect myself?
A general, durable power of attorney is a key part of any estate plan. A Will covers what happens to your assets if you have died, but the durable power of attorney is meant to cover the time when you are alive yet unable to handle your own financial affairs. The problem that exists, and of which you speak, is that if you give your Agent the power of attorney document, they have the power to withdraw from your bank accounts, sell real estate and gather your tax information.