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TOPIC: Power of Attorney in NJ

Power of Attorney in NJ 13 Oct 2011 07:25 #603

  • Tangerine
  • Tangerine's Avatar
I have power of Attorney in NJ. Can I begin arrangements now. Sons will be beneficiaries when EOL is declared. Family is very divided now.

Peace & Victory
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Re: Power of Attorney in NJ 13 Oct 2011 11:10 #604

Hello Tangerine,

You haven't given enough information, but I'll do my best to answer your question.

1) If you have financial power of attorney for someone who is still competent - you should be making whatever arrangements that person wants made. If your pal wants his/her family to be forced to honor those wishes, the individual should make you his/her designated agent for control of the funeral and disposition of the human remains N.J.S.3B:1-2.

2) If you have financial power of attorney for someone no longer competent - you can go ahead and make arrangements. But, if the now incompetent person neglected to assign you his/her designated agent (power of attorney and/or executor of will are not sufficient), the wishes of the "divided" family will trump after the person dies.

Most people don't do a designated agent for funeral stuff, but I always recommend it for people who have "divided" families or any other situation where there could be conflict around what to do after death so one doesn't end up cryonically preserved in a golden pyramid when all they wanted was direct cremation.

Remember that "competent" isn't something you or the family decide, it's a legal definition determined by professional evaluation. If it's currently questionable and you go ahead and obtain designated agent status now, it can be contested by the family later. Not worth it.

President, Funeral Consumers Alliance
Executive Director, Funeral Consumers Alliance of Princeton (NJ)
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