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Powers of Attorney

Springfield, NJ |

Wife has been separated from husband for 18 mos; nothing recorded in writing. Husband now on life support and may not live. Can she get a court appointed power of attorney that allows execution of divorce papers that the attorney had taken instructions for but had not drawn up? It is important to her that she divorces him. If he should die and they remain married she would be liable for a huge amount of debt that he incurred whilst they were separated.

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Attorney answers 4


I presume that you are asking whether a person can be appointed, who would have power of attorney to sign on the husband's behalf. It sounds like that may be very difficult to do now.

However, I believe that the wife needs to see a very experienced Divorce attorney right away to go over the debts that the husband incurred while they have been separated. She should bring any paperwork she can get regarding that debt. It is possible that she will NOT be liable for some or all of that debt.

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He most likely lacks capacity to appoint someone as POA. You need to talk to a divorce lawyer. If you have one you need to go in and sit down and explain these concernc. This is not the proper place to ask these types of complex questions. This Q&A fo'rum is for simple legal questions and your situaton is very complex. He may be able to have someone appointed as a guardian and that guardian may be able to possibly complete the divorce by legally "standing in his shoes."

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I really can't add much more to the above. It seems as though the reality of this situation would not allow for a POA at this time. Consulting with an experienced estate attorney as well as an experienced matrimonial attorney would be prudent.


Asker, this is a very similar question to one posed a few weeks ago by another person from Springfield. It is essential that you speak to an experienced divorce attorney immediately.

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