New Jersey


Instrument: Power of attorney (POA)

What is it for?
The power of attorney (POA) allows an adult (“the principal”) to authorize one or more other persons or a qualified bank (“the attorney-in-fact”) to perform specified acts on behalf of the principal as the principal’s agent. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 46:2B-8.2b.

What does it do?
The POA allows the attorney-in-fact to take actions on the principal’s behalf that either benefit or bind the principal as if the principal had acted. If the POA is “durable,” it remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. In order for the POA to be durable, it must contain express language stating the principal’s intent. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 46:2B-8.2b.

How does one make it?
The POA must be in writing, duly signed, and acknowledged in the manner for acknowledgment and proof of a real estate deed. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 46:2B-8.9. Also, the principal must not be “unable to manage his property and affairs effectively” at the time of execution in order for the POA to be valid. Id. at 8.2.

When does it come into effect?
Immediately upon execution, unless the POA itself calls for the POA to become effective upon a future occurrence, such as the principal’s incapacitation.

How long does it last?
Unless the POA specifically provides for a time of termination, it remains effective until it is revoked or until the attorney-in-fact has actual knowledge of the principal’s death. Also, a POA that is not durable, it terminates at the time of the principal’s incapacitation. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 46:2B-8.5.
Note that a durable POA is not terminated by appointment of a conservator or guardian; instead, the attorney-in-fact becomes accountable to both the fiduciary and the principal. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 46:2B-8.4. Nor does a subsequent POA revoke a POA, unless the subsequent POA specifically provides as such. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 46:2B-8.10.

How does one end it?
The principal may revoke the POA by physically destroying all the originals of the POA, or by signing a revocation that is notarized, or by delivering a written revocation to the attorney-in-fact. N.J. Rev. Stat. § 46:2B-8.10.

What does an example look like?
New Jersey does not have a statutory POA form.

What else should one know?
New Jersey’s Revised Durable Power of Attorney Act is not based on the Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

Last updated April 2021

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