Power of Attorney: When you sign a Power of Attorney document you are telling the world that this person whom you have chosen, can "stand in my shoes" and take any action that you can take. The powers are an extension of you and your Power of Attorney authorization expires and is void the minute that you expire but until that time, it is an important part of your estate plan. Who should have one? Everyone should have one, especially, single persons over eighteen.
A durable power of attorney is a very powerful document, providing unfettered authorization to someone on your behalf. In this office, it is not cookie cutter. Alice W. Meehan, Esq. crafts comprehensive and up to date Durable Power of Attorney documents with current tax and estate laws in mind as well as incorporating provisions that coordinate with the Living Will Health Directive such as a POLST provision (physicians' orders for life sustaining treatment). The privacy laws are tightening and the health laws are ever changing with regard to patient rights and she will review and expand durable powers of attorney to coincide with the changing times and needs. In the age of the internet, if you become incapacitated, then who has the power to obtain your passwords to all of your various accounts, to change or delete your social media pages? What happens to your cherished seat licenses in the event you are too ill to renew- will you lose them? Not if you have an experienced attorney that can address these specific issues and prepare and craft the required language into your Power of Attorney. Ms. Meehan can prepare NJ Specific Powers of Attorney if desired for real estate closings or other matters, as well as prepare NY Durable POA's with or without the gift rider.
It is suggested you have power of attorney prepared as part of your comprehensive estate planning package, as a person must have "mental capacity" to understand what they are signing as well as mental capacity to execute this document. Unfortunately, there are many instances where an unexpected event occurs and the person that ''needs'' one is not physically or mentally able to understand and sign this document and then the only alternative is to apply to the court for a "Guardianship Hearing," which requires several months’ time, significant expense and more involvement than a Power of Attorney.
Guardianship: Ms. Meehan handles the preparation, obtaining all necessary physician affidavits and supporting documentation and filing the Petitions and Orders to Show Cause requesting hearings for guardianships of incapacitated parties. She can also provide consult as to whether you need one and what the process requires. Ms. Meehan has also represented the alleged incapacitated party "defending" or "intervening" in a pending guardianship application. Additionally, she has, on numerous occasions, been asked by the courts in Bergen County to be the court appointed attorney for hearing on behalf of alleged incapacitated persons for whom guardianships are sought. These applications are time sensitive as to document expiration and specific as to what the physicians reports need to state and we are well versed and equipped for getting your complaint filed efficiently and correctly in order to expedite the court hearing date.