By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Power of Attorney Lawyer

In Part 1 of this series I touched briefly on some key points and questions surrounding the use of a Power of Attorney. Under N.J.S.A. 46:2(b)-13 issues involving Powers of Attorney are codified, meaning made into law.  The law specifically says that a banking institution shall accept and shall rely on a Power of Attorney which conforms to the law and must permit the agent to act and exercise the authority set forth in the document.   However, the law also recites circumstances under which the bank can refuse to accept the Power of Attorney.  Some examples whereby a bank may refuse to recognize the Power of Attorney is (1) if the signature of the person is not genuine; (2) the employee who receives it has received actual notice of the death, revocation or the disability of the principal at the time of the execution/exercise of the Power of Attorney; (3) if it believes in good faith that the Power of Attorney does not appear to be genuine or that the principal is dead or that the Power of Attorney has been revoked or that the person who executed the Power of Attorney was not of sound mind at the time of his signature.

Notwithstanding the above, the law allows a bank a reasonable period of time under the circumstances as they exist in which to decide whether or not they will recognize the Power of Attorney presented.  This, of course, can be very frustrating and should give fair warning to individuals/families that they may not be able to immediately use the Power of Attorney in emergency situations as the bank (for the reasons outlined above) may choose to deliberate and further determine whether it will or will not accept the power.

To discuss your NJ Power of Attorney matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.