Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Forms
The Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Forms make a legal record of the formal consent one party (referred to as the Principal) grants another party (referred to as the Agent) the right to act on their behalf in the matters and circumstances they note down. While a Principal has the right to specify a number of components of their power of attorney arrangement, in order for a POA to be legally compliant in the state of Pennsylvania, it is vital that all of the requirements stipulated by state law are met.
What is a Pennsylvania Power of Attorney?
A Pennsylvania Power of Attorney is a document that paves the way for an individual to legally entrust the care or management of one or more of their affairs to another party. The decision to establish a Power of Attorney may be brought about by the individual for any number of reasons. For instance, a parent who must go on a business trip may benefit from preparing a POA to ensure their child is properly taken care of in their absence. Whereas, another individual may wish to use a POA to transfer decision making powers to a tax agent who has the professional ability to expertly file their taxes.
- Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Laws – (Chapter 56, “Powers of Attorney”) and (Title 20, Chapter 54, “Health Care”)
- State Definition of Durable Power of Attorney (§ 5604) – “A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney by which a principal designates another his agent in writing. The authority conferred shall be exercisable notwithstanding the principal’s subsequent disability or incapacity. A principal may provide in the power of attorney that the power shall become effective at a specified future time or upon the occurrence of a specified contingency, including the disability or incapacity of the principal.”
- State Definition of Advance Health Care Directive (Medical Power of Attorney) (§ 5422) – “A health care power of attorney, living will or a written combination of a health care power of attorney and living will.”
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (§ 5601(b)) – Must be signed by the Principal either by signature or mark (or, if the principal is unable to sign, they may direct another individual to sign it on their behalf). The signature must be acknowledged before a Notary Public and witnessed by two (2) individuals.
- Advance Health Care Directive / Medical Power of Attorney (§ 5452) – Must be dated and signed by the Principal by signature or mark (or, if the principal is unable to sign, they may direct another individual to sign it on their behalf). The signature must be witnessed by two (2) individuals.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney – A Durable POA is created by someone who wants to guarantee that the provisions set out in a POA contract regarding an agent’s management of their financial matters will be maintained regardless of their incapacitation or death.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – If an individual feels uncomfortable at the thought of a POA continuing in the event of their incapacitation or death, it is advisable to draft a General (as opposed to Durable) type of POA.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – A type of POA that binds the agent to use the decision making powers they have been granted via the execution of the POA only in the specific circumstances specified by the principal.
Living Will & Health Care Power of Attorney – According to Pennsylvania state law, any individual of a sound mind who is (1) is 18 years of age or older; (2) has graduated from high school; (3) has married; or (4) is an emancipated minor may make this document to set out their end-of-life wishes legally-binding.
Download – Adobe PDF
Minor Child Power of Attorney – A parent or guardian, due to circumstances out of their control, may not always have the capacity to ensure the care of their children. In such cases, they can call on the trusted individual they named in this contract to temporarily assume their parenting or guardianship duties.
Motor Vehicle (DMV) Power of Attorney – In order to elect an attorney-in-fact to represent them before the state motor vehicle department for matters pertaining to their car, an individual must use this form specify details about their car as well as the responsibilities they wish to delegate to an attorney-in-fact.
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – The act of delegating tasks regarding a property, such as the sale or management of it, can be done by filing a Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – A document that immediately halts the legal obligation an agent has to carry out the terms of a given POA.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney (Form REV-677 LE) – Form REV-677 LE is a document produced by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue that enables taxpayers in the state to nominate an attorney-in-fact for the limited circumstance of filing their taxes.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
In order for a General / Durable Power of Attorney to be effective in the state of Pennsylvania, the following requirements, stipulated by (§ 5601(b)), must be upheld:
- The POA is signed by the Principal either by signature or mark. The Principal may direct another individual to sign on their behalf if they are unable to do so themselves.
- The signature is acknowledged before a Notary Public.
- The signature is witnessed by two (2) individuals who meet the witness criteria outlined by § 5601(b)(ii).
- The beginning of the POA includes, in capital letters, the notice stated in § 5601(c).
- The notice is signed by the Principal.
The law, specifically § 5452(b), dictates that for an Advance Health Care Directive / Medical Power of Attorney to be effective, the following must be true:
- The POA is dated and signed by the Principal by signature or mark. The Principal may direct another individual to sign on their behalf if they are unable to sign the document by themselves.
- The signature of the Principal or that of the individual who signs on their behalf is witnessed by two (2) individuals who meet the witness criteria outlined by § 5452(c).