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Does a general power of attorney have any limitations in the state of new jersey...

Fairfield, NJ |

I went to transact business for my aunt. I am listed as the power of attorney. Bank said that it expired after 8 years. I needed to get a new power of attorney created. Is this right

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Many banks adopt these type of business practices even if the state laws do not have the same time lines.
    I recommend to my clients to update these type of documents every three years to avoid the same type of promblem you are experencing.
    If your Aunt can sign a new one-that would be easiest and less expensive way to proceed.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  2. In NJ when a power of attorney is given to someone other than a spouse or civil union partner banks and other financial institutions may reject the power if it is over 10 years old. All powers should be "refreshed" periodically to avoid this problem and also to make sure that the principal - the maker of the power - is still in agreement with the agent he/she selected. Also, many banks have their own forms of powers of attorney and while a general power should suffice, many still want their own procedures followed.


  3. I agree with the other answer, however, it is my understanding that the bank may elect not to honor the power of attorney if it was more than 10 years old when first presented to them. Your question indicates that you are "listed" as POA. It's not clear whether you are referring to the bank's POA or one presented to them. You should consult with an attorney and give them all the facts so you can get appropriate guidance.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.


  4. It is a lose-lose situation. Years ago banks said we do not draft powers of attorney; go see a lawyer. So I drafte one and went to the bank with my mother. They refused to notarize it. Instead they drafted a form that gave me signatory authority over my mother's account. We moth signed it, but it was my mother's intent, and the POA I drafted so indicated, that my 2 siblings were also agents.

    Debra is correct in what she has indicated.

    As a general rule, a Durable Power of Attorney that permits, per the statute, the handling of all banking of transactions, should allow you to manage your Aunt's business affairs, BUT in light of the fact that there a significant amount of elder abuse (stealing by relatives and neighbors), banks are hesitant to blindly allow an agent act unless the client owning the accounting comes to the bank and in an officer's presence signs a document or acknowledges (a) he/she is competent, and (b) the agent may act on his/her behalf.

    Years ago I represented an estate of a deceased woman who had been declared incapacitated (suffering from Alzheimer's) by a court of law. The court appointed guardian gave the bank notice of her appointed and instructions to take no action on the woman's bank accounts without her approval. The bank had notice. Nonetheless, a week later, the niece took her aunt to the bank and changed the name on the aunt's bank account to a joint account with the niece, and later to an account in solely the niece's name. I sued the bank and recovered the money the niece withdrew. This is why banks are hesitant to recognize a POA.not produced by them, that is too old, or was not verified in an officer's presence.

    I am located in Livingston, and I am available to review your POA if you wish. I can be reached at 973-994-9080.

    The foregoing is not intended to be legal advice upon which you may rely as I have not been retained for this purpose.

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