How can I track down a missing power of attorney?


Q. A power of attorney was signed and notarized in both New Jersey and Florida to facilitate the purchase of a real estate plot in Florida. How do I locate this power of attorney document in New Jersey?
— Unsure

A. Hopefully, the power of attorney is among the important papers belonging to the person who signed the document.

But if not, there are several places you can go to try to track down the power of attorney document.

The power of attorney may be filed with the county clerk’s office if the agent has the power to conduct real estate transactions, said Shirley Whitenack, an estate planning attorney with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park.

But those are not usually filed with the clerk unless it is accompanied by a new deed, she said.

The power of attorney document may also have been given to financial institutions or, if it was drafted by an attorney, that attorney may have retained a duplicate original or a copy, Whitenack said.

Good luck tracking this down.

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This story was originally published on May 20, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.