A Power of Attorney is a document whereby one person (known as "the principal") grants another (known as "the agent") authority to perform specified acts or kinds of acts on behalf of the principal. The authority given to the agent may be either full (a General Power of Attorney) or limited (a Special Power of Attorney).
Such document may also include a provision for the authority to remain or become effective in the event the principal becomes disabled. This is referred to as a durable Power of Attorney.
Notwithstanding the type of Power of Attorney, any valid authority granted remains effective until it is revoked by the principal or terminates under its own terms. In New Jersey, recent change in the Power of Attorney rules provides that third parties may properly presume that a Power of Attorney is in effect absent actual notice of revocation or death of the principal. Moreover, revocation takes place only when the principal signs a written revocation or physically destroys all originals of the Power of Attorney.
A Power of Attorney is generally recommended as it may become necessary in the event of disability, hospitalization, incarceration, or prolonged absence from home.