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

Part 1 and Part 2 of this series addressed the topic of when a bank can refuse to accept a Power of Attorney. Part 3 will continue this discussion.

Another basis for the bank to reject the Power of Attorney is if it is more than ten (10) years old and is being used for the first time.   I have had several situations where clients have presented Powers of Attorney over ten (10) years old and which have never been used and are surprised to learn that the bank can refuse to accept them because of their age alone.  What is not fully appreciated, however, is that this provision of the statute only applies to agents who are not a spouse, parent, or descendant of the principal.  In other words, ten (10) years alone is not sufficient to outright the Power of Attorney if it is presented by a close family member as outlined above.   If the Power of Attorney provides that it becomes effective only upon the disability of the principal, the bank does not have to accept the Power of Attorney unless the bank is provided by the agent with proof (to its satisfaction) that the principal is then under disability as described and defined in the Power.   This generally means that the family will have to obtain a physician’s certification, affidavit or report confirming that the principal is no longer of sound mind.

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