A power of attorney is a document that legally grants an individual (agent) authority to act on behalf of another person (principal).
It’s typically applicable in situations where an agent is required to make decisions concerning financial or healthcare matters in the unfortunate event of incapacitation or disablement.
The Pennsylvania power of attorney differs from other states. It’s a little more difficult because there’s no form provided. However, although there’s no specific format to be used, there’s a notice and acknowledgment provision that must be included at the POA’s beginning.
Pennsylvania Durable Power of Attorney
In terms of power, the Pennsylvania durable power of attorney gives someone (an agent or attorney in fact) limited or equal power to the principal.
The attorney appointed doesn’t have to be an actual attorney—just a person that the principal trusts with their matters. The main point of a durable power of attorney is that a clause keeps the agent’s power even if the principal is incapacitated or unable to make decisions.
A durable power of attorney is valid until death unless the principal removes the agent’s powers or if the court considers the document invalid or removes the agent. It could also be terminated if the principal becomes divorced and the agent was their former spouse.
Pennsylvania General Power of Attorney
Like the durable power of attorney, the general power of attorney grants the agent powers equal to that of the principal giving the attorney power to pay bills, sign documents and manage finances.
However, unlike the durable power of attorney, the general power of attorney ends if the principal dies or is incapacitated. The principal could also terminate the power of attorney whenever they desire to.
Pennsylvania Limited Power of Attorney
The Pennsylvania limited power of attorney grants the agent powers over a limited period stated in the document. The power is mainly for a specific and limited purpose, such as handling real estate transactions.
Pennsylvania Medical Power of Attorney
It’s a form whereby someone appoints an agent (close friend, relative, or spouse) that can make decisions regarding their healthcare and represent them in unfortunate situations whereby they can’t communicate effectively or make reasonable decisions.
Pennsylvania Minor (Child) Power of Attorney
This form allows parents (principal) to legally assign a temporary guardian (attorney-in-fact or agent) to take up the responsibility of caring for their children.
Typically, this would be necessary when the parents are unavailable due to military deployment, illness, work-related travel, family commitments, or prolonged absence. However, it’s valid for six months.
According to the child’s needs, the minor power of attorney form for Pennsylvania grants full or limited powers.
Here are some frequently asked questions: