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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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The differences between durable and simple powers of attorney

A power of attorney can fulfill many roles in estate-planning and end-of-life care. While this is often not a fact that many New Jersey residents want to consider, everyone will pass on at some point. There are some differences between a simple power of attorney and a durable power of attorney, which are explained below.

Simple Power of Attorney

A simple of power of attorney is a document in which you (the principal) give another person or entity (the agent) to act on your behalf. For example, this legal document could give someone the authority to write checks to pay your bills, obtain insurance or sell property. The authority you give can be very broad or it can be narrow to specific acts.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is valid even if you cannot act on your behalf due to incapacitation. This is one way the two powers of attorney differ. It will usually not go into effect until incapacitation or disability happens. However, this legal document must be signed before this occurs and the circumstances under which it goes into effect need to be included in the durable power of attorney. The authority in a durable power of attorney is generally broad, so the agent you choose can act on your behalf when you are no longer able.

Understanding all that simple and durable powers of attorney can do is important before creating one. It is also important to make sure that the agent you choose is trustworthy and will follow your wishes. An experienced estate-planning attorney can explain the differences between these two legal documents in greater detail and provide advice on which is better for your particular situation.

Source: Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly, "Durable Power of Attorney - Questions and Answers" Oct. 02, 2014

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