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What is a Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania

.A Pennsylvania Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal authorization that gives an appointed individual the power to act on behalf of someone else. The person granting this decision-making ability is known as the principal, and the designated individual is called the attorney-in-fact or Agent.

In Pennsylvania a power of attorney allows the agent to: bind the principal to contracts, sell, buy, or transfer assets; and make medical decisions affecting the principal. Pennsylvania state laws may also have different rules regarding the enforceability of agreements or the agent’s rights.

Types of Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania

There are many types of POA that can be used in Pennsylvania to appoint an Agent (or Attorney-in-Fact) to make decisions and to manage essential financial and/or medical responsibilities for a principal.

The most common variants include the following examples:

  • Durable Power of Attorney documents are invaluable tools for individuals planning how their estate will be managed in their old age, or in the event of sudden illness or disability. They allow the Agent to act for the Principal even if they become incapacitated.
  • A Limited Power of Attorney allows a Principal to grant time-limited powers to an Agent. This is usually to allow the Agent to complete a one-off task such as signing a contract.
  • Medical Power of Attorney is a durable form of POA that allows a Principal to appoint a person to make medical decisions for them if they become incapacitated
  • Real Estate: Real Estate POAs are specially tailored documents that let Principals grant powers to an Agent for the purposes of managing real estate.
  • Minor Child Power of Attorney: This variety of Power of Attorney allows a Principal to appoint an Agent to take on their legal parental rights for a limited period of time. This could be for work reasons, deployment in the military, or due to an illness.

How to Get a Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania Power of Attorney can be filled-in fully online with our step-by-step form completion survey. All you need to do is answer the questions and add in your own information to create a fully complete POA tailored to your necessities.

Alternatively, the task of creating a POA can be left to a lawyer. However, this is usually a more time consuming and costly process.

Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Requirements

In order to make sure your POA is fully valid upon completion and signing, you must make sure that you follow the right steps and requirements for a Pennsylvania Power of Attorney document before successfully putting it into action.

To do this you will need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Make sure all the details on the form are correct such as names, addresses, dates, and the powers that are to be granted.
  2. The completed form should be signed by both the Agent and Principal.
  3. Ensure the sign and date of the notice and acknowledgment executed by the agent provided in 5601-C and 5601-D.
  4. Detail the date of start and end of powers.
  5. It is essential that the signing of the document is viewed by 2 witnesses who must also sign the form.
  6. A notary public must also be present at the signing to notarize the document, and must sign it too.
  7. In the event that the POA will be used to manage real estate, the document must be filed with the clerk of the county where the property is located 30 days after signing.

In addition to these steps, it is crucial that all the signing parties are legally able to enter into this agreement. This means that they must:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Be mentally competent enough to enter into a contractual agreement.
  • Understand the powers that are being granted.

In 2014, Pennsylvania adopted the Universal Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). This Act (§ 5601)allows you to use your Power of Attorney in other states that have also adopted the UPOAA.

Ensure the legal terms on your document also follows the guidelines of the act.

Lastly, the Agent must be a legal adult or a financial institution with trust powers, a registered place of business within the state and that has the authority to carry out trust business in Pennsylvania. They should also be someone that the Principal has full confidence in.

Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Laws

The Pennsylvania Power of attorney is regulated under chapter 56 of title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, also referred to as “20 Pa CSA §5601-5614”.

Even though the Pennsylvania legislature does not include a form for a power of attorney, it does provide a “notice” and an “acknowledgment” provision that must be included in your Pennsylvania Power of Attorney.

Additionally, it describes how the Pennsylvania Power of Attorney may be created and used, and it specifies the various types of Powers a principal may grant to an agent.

Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Sample

Before starting your own Pennsylvania Power of Attorney, it can help to look over an example document to understand how your final draft will look and what it will say. Simply view our POA sample now to get a feel for how these documents are written and appear once completed.

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Power of Attorney Pennsylvania Sample

FAQs About Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Forms

It is important to have a good understanding of what Pennsylvania Power of Attorney forms can do before filling in your own. Read through our FAQs below to get a better idea of the key information needed as well as any other special considerations.

Who Should Be Your Pennsylvania POA Agent?

When choosing the right Agent for your Pennsylvania POA, it is essential to pick a person (or people) that you trust implicitly.

By granting Power of Attorney to someone you allow them to hold a large amount of responsibility for your financial or even bodily wellbeing. An Agent therefore must be someone you know will take the actions that serve these interests best.

Who Can Override a Pennsylvania Power of Attorney?

There are a few ways to override a Power of Attorney. First of all, you can simply revoke it, as the Principal retains the right to remove the powers at any time.

If on the other hand, you wish to revoke the Pennsylvania Power of Attorney of an already incapacitated family member, you will have to write to the Agent to ask them to formally step down as POA. If they refuse, you may then need to take the matter to court and appoint guardianship to render the powers of the Agent inactive.

How to Know if My Power of Attorney is Durable?

In Pennsylvania, Power of Attorney documents are automatically assumed to be durable unless the contrary is specifically stated in the wording of the form.

This means it is necessary to expressly create a nondurable document if you wish for the powers you are granting to not be durable and for the POA to expire in the event of your incapacity.

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Power of Attorney Pennsylvania Sample

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DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
THE POWERS YOU GRANT BELOW ARE EFFECTIVE EVEN IF YOU BECOME DISABLED OR INCOMPETENT

NOTICE

THE PURPOSE OF THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IS TO GIVE THE PERSON YOU DESIGNATE (YOUR "AGENT") BROAD POWERS TO HANDLE YOUR PROPERTY, WHICH MAY INCLUDE POWERS TO SELL OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF ANY REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY WITHOUT ADVANCE NOTICE TO YOU OR APPROVAL BY YOU.

THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY DOES NOT IMPOSE A DUTY ON YOUR AGENT TO EXERCISE GRANTED POWERS, BUT, WHEN POWERS ARE EXERCISED, YOUR AGENT MUST USE DUE CARE TO ACT FOR YOUR BENEFIT AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY.

YOUR AGENT MAY EXERCISE THE POWERS GIVEN HERE THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME, EVEN AFTER YOU BECOME INCAPACITATED, UNLESS YOU EXPRESSLY LIMIT THE DURATION OF THESE POWERS OR YOU REVOKE THESE POWERS OR A COURT ACTING ON YOUR BEHALF TERMINATES YOUR AGENT'S AUTHORITY.

YOUR AGENT MUST ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS TO THE EXTENT ACTUALLY KNOWN BY YOUR AGENT AND, OTHERWISE, IN YOUR BEST INTEREST, ACT IN GOOD FAITH AND ACT ONLY WITHIN THE SCOPE OF AUTHORITY GRANTED BY YOU IN THE POWER OF ATTORNEY.

THE LAW PERMITS YOU, IF YOU CHOOSE, TO GRANT BROAD AUTHORITY TO AN AGENT UNDER POWER OF ATTORNEY, INCLUDING THE ABILITY TO GIVE AWAY ALL OF YOUR PROPERTY WHILE YOU ARE ALIVE OR TO SUBSTANTIALLY CHANGE HOW YOUR PROPERTY IS DISTRIBUTED AT YOUR DEATH. BEFORE SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, YOU SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY AT LAW TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND IT.

A COURT CAN TAKE AWAY THE POWERS OF YOUR AGENT IF IT FINDS YOUR AGENT IS NOT ACTING PROPERLY.

THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF AN AGENT UNDER A POWER OF ATTORNEY ARE EXPLAINED MORE FULLY IN 20 PA.C.S. CH. 56.

IF THERE IS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS FORM THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, YOU SHOULD ASK A LAWYER OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU.

I HAVE READ OR HAD EXPLAINED TO ME THIS NOTICE AND I UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENTS.



____________________________________   __________
_________   Date
THE POWERS YOU GRANT BELOW ARE NOT AFFECTED BY DISABILITY OR LAPSE OF TIME
NOTICE: THE PRINCIPAL SHOULD BE CAREFUL IN SELECTING AND IN INSTRUCTING THE AGENT (OR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT) AS TO THE TASKS THAT HE OR SHE SHOULD COMPLETE. THE POWERS GRANTED BY THIS DOCUMENT ARE VERY BROAD AND SWEEPING, AS THE AGENT HAS THE POWER TO HANDLE BUSINESS AND LEGAL MATTERS ON THE PRINCIPAL'S BEHALF. AS STATED ABOVE, THESE POWERS ARE EXPLAINED MORE FULLY IN 20 PA.C.S. CH. 56. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE POWERS, OBTAIN COMPETENT LEGAL ADVICE. YOU MAY REVOKE THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IF YOU LATER WISH TO DO SO.
DESIGNATION OF AGENT
I, _________, maintaining an address at _________, telephone number _________, and email address _________, hereby appoint _________ maintaining an address at _________, telephone number _________, and email address _________, as my Agent ("Attorney-in-fact").
GRANT OF GENERAL AUTHORITY
I grant my agent(s) general authority to act for me with respect to the following subjects:

     - To make limited gifts
     - To create a trust for my benefit
     - To make additions to an existing trust for my benefit
     - To claim an elective share of the estate of my deceased spouse
     - To renounce fiduciary positions
     - To withdraw and receive the income or corpus of a trust
     - To engage in real property transactions
     - To engage in tangible personal property transactions
     - To engage in stock, bond and other securities transactions
     - To engage in commodity and option transactions
     - To engage in banking and financial transactions
     - To borrow money
     - To enter safe deposit boxes
     - To engage in insurance and annuity transactions
     - To engage in retirement plan transactions
     - To handle interests in estates and trusts
     - To operate a business or entity
     - To pursue tax matters
     - To provide for personal and family maintenance
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS
THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS A GENERAL DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND SHALL CONTINUE TO BE EFFECTIVE EVEN IF I BECOME DISABLED, INCAPACITATED, OR INCOMPETENT.
(YOUR AGENT WILL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ALL REASONABLE EXPENSES INCURRED IN ACTING UNDER THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY.)
My Agent is entitled to reasonable compensation for any services rendered as my Agent.
(YOUR AGENT SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT BY WRITTEN INSTRUMENT TO DELEGATE ANY OR ALL OF THE FOREGOING POWERS INVOLVING DISCRETIONARY DECISION-MAKING TO ANY PERSON OR PERSONS WHOM MY AGENT MAY SELECT, BUT SUCH DELEGATION MAY BE AMENDED OR REVOKED BY ANY AGENT (INCLUDING ANY SUCCESSOR) NAMED BY ME WHO IS ACTING UNDER THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY AT THE TIME OF REFERENCE. IF YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR AGENT THE RIGHT TO DELEGATE DISCRETIONARY DECISION-MAKING POWERS TO OTHERS, PLEASE DELEGATE SUCH AUTHORITY UNDER THE AUTHORITY TO DELEGATE SECTION BELOW.)
AUTHORITY TO DELEGATE
My Agent shall have the right by written instrument to delegate any or all of the foregoing powers involving discretionary decision-making to any person or persons who my Agent may select, but such delegation may be amended or revoked by any agent (including any successor) named by me who is acting under this Power of Attorney at the time of reference.
EFFECTIVENESS
This Power of Attorney takes effect immediately.
This Power of Attorney will continue to be in effect until my death and will not be affected by my subsequent disability or lapse of time.
This Power of Attorney may be revoked or terminated by me at any time by providing written notice to my Agent.
I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Revocation of the Power of Attorney is not effective as to a third party until the third party learns of the revocation. I agree to indemnify the third party for any claims that arise against the third party because of reliance on this Power of Attorney.

Dated ____________________, ______, at _________, _________.



__________________________________
_________


Witness Signature: ___________________________
Name: _________
Address: _________
Telephone number: _________
Email address: _________


Witness Signature: ___________________________
Name: _________
Address: _________
Telephone number: _________
Email address: _________
,
ss:


On this _____ day of ______________, ______, before me, ________________________, personally appeared _________, known to me (or satisfactorily proven) to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged that he/she executed the same as for the purposes therein contained.
In witness whereof, I hereunto set my hand and official seal.



_________________________________
Notary Public

My Commission expires _____________
Notary Address:

_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________
WITNESS ATTESTATION
The foregoing power of attorney was, on the date written above, published and declared by _________ in our presence to be his/her Power of Attorney. We, in his/her presence and at his/her request, and in the presence of each other, have attested to the same and have signed our names as attesting witnesses.


___________________________________
Name: _________
Address: _________
Telephone number: _________
Email address: _________


___________________________________
Name: _________
Address: _________
Telephone number: _________
Email address: _________
ACKNOWLEDGMENT BY AGENT

I, _________, have read the attached Power of Attorney and am the person identified as the Agent for the Principal. I hereby acknowledge that when I act as Agent:

I shall act in accordance with the Principal's reasonable expectations to the extent actually known by me and, otherwise, in the Principal's best interest, act in good faith and act only within the scope of authority granted to me by the Principal in the Power of Attorney.




____________________________________   __________
_________   Date
PREPARATION STATEMENT
This document was prepared by the following individual:



________________________________________________
_________
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