Designating a Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania

People often create estate plans to prepare for what will happen to their belongings after they die. In doing so, many also appoint a power of attorney. There may come a time in a person’s life where they are unable to make a decision for themselves. This may happen if their physical or mental health deteriorates and they cannot communicate their desires. When this happens, a power of attorney has the right to make financial decisions and property transactions on their behalf. When assigning a power of attorney, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced legal team.

What is a Power of Attorney?

It is possible for anyone to be a power of attorney. This individual can be appointed by a loved one to make decisions for them in the event that they can no longer do so for themselves. If a person is dying or unable to communicate their wishes, the power of attorney can step in and do so for them. It is important that this individual is a person that can be trusted to make important decisions on their behalf. This person may be a family member or loved one. The power of attorney should document the individual’s wishes so that they are able to make the correct decisions if the time comes. 

A power of attorney does not have unlimited authority. In their position, they are only allowed the amount of influence that they are given by the individual who appointed them. This means their power can be limited in the decisions they make. Every power of attorney can have different obligations.

Categories for Power of Attornies

The different types of power of attorney are categorized depending on their responsibilities. The most common categories in Pennsylvania are as follows:

  • General Power of Attorney: The appointed individual is to make decisions on their behalf. This can include real estate transactions, financial transactions, and banking matters. 
  • Limited Power of Attorney: This individual is limited in the amount of authority they are given. They are only required to act in specified situations. 
  • Durable Power of Attorney: This individual may act on their behalf by opening bank accounts, signing checks, making gifts, running their business, and making other transactions. 
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This individual can make decisions for the person in need as it pertains to medical and healthcare matters. This is usually the case if the person is unconscious and cannot speak for themselves. 
  • Springing Power of Attorney: This individual can be designated for a specific amount of time. They can become effective on a certain date or until a certain date. Otherwise, they have no authority outside of this time period.

Contact our Firm

Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.