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

A Power of Attorney and a Guardian are each known as Agents. An agent owes a fiduciary duty to his or her principal once they have assumed their titles upon appointment. The term fiduciary means a position of trust and loyalty between the POA, Guardian and their principal. An agent as Power of Attorney may only engage in transactions that are specifically authorized to him or her in the power of attorney document. For this reason, a power of attorney should generally be written with expanded powers, so the agent has the full authority to perform those actions which he or she may need to perform for his/her principal now and in the future.

Both power of attorney and a guardian must also maintain accurate records of their actions as agent for their principal under the authority granted to them. The principal, or his/her personal representative can require the agent to render an accounting of his or her actions to confirm the honesty of their service.

The Superior Court of New Jersey can also compel an agent to account, if an heir of the principal or “other next friend” files an application with the court. The purpose of an accounting is again to cause a closer examination to confirm the loyalty and honesty of the principal.

To discuss your NJ Guardianship and 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.