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Do I need a doctor’s note to use my Dad’s Power of Attorney in New Jersey?

Posted on Thu Aug 6, 2015, on Power of Attorney

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Leaping Power of Attorney and Doctor’s Note Requirement

Most Recently Updated July 19, 2018.

“My father, who lives in Atlantic County, New Jersey, is having serious health problems. He wants me to be able to use his general power of attorney, but it says I need a doctor’s note saying that he is incapacitated. Is that normal?”

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Leaping Power of Attorney and Doctor’s Note Requirement

Leaping Power of Attorney and Doctor’s Note Requirement

Your father has a “Leaping” Power of Attorney, which used to be the normal document that Atlantic County EstatePlanning Lawyers would prepare. A Leaping Power of Attorney only gives the “Agent” the power to act if—and only if—the principal is incapacitated, and the principal’s doctor confirms the incapacity in a letter. Without the letter the power of attorney is useless.

Leaping Powers of Attorney fell out of favor because doctors, fearing lawsuits, are hesitant to sign letters declaring the person is incapacitated. They know the Agent will then have power over their patient’s money, and if the agent embezzles funds the doctor may be dragged into litigation.

Current Powers of Attorney

Nowadays, the normal document drafted by an Atlantic County Estate Planning Lawyer gives the Agent the power to act as soon as the document is signed. The raises the question of: “when to give the Power of Attorney to the Agent?” If you give the document to the Agent, the Agent could embezzle or steal assets, using the document illegally.

What We Do

At our firm, we offer the client the free service of holding the Power of Attorney in our safes. In your case, if your father is still competent, I suggest he consult with a Atlantic County Estate Planning Attorney and sign a new Power of Attorney.

More Planning Questions?

The leaping power of attorney is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Leaping Power of Attorney and Doctor’s Note Requirement

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining the leaping power of attoney. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

 

Tags:

Atlantic County, Estate Planning, Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, New Jersey, Power of Attorney

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