Does a Power of Attorney Have Unlimited Control in Pennsylvania?

A power of attorney (POA) is a document that can give an individual the power to make important decisions on your behalf. Read on to learn more about powers of attorney and how much control they really have.

What Can a Power of Attorney Do?

Depending on the situation, a power of attorney may be able to do the following:

  • Make bank deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions
  • Pay bills
  • Buy and sell property
  • Hire caretakers for either in-home care or otherwise
  • Deal with Social Security issues
  • Transfer assets to a trust
  • File tax returns
  • Obtain medical records
  • File medical claims

What Types of Powers of Attorney are Available in Pennsylvania?

There are different types of powers of attorney available in Pennsylvania. The most common include:

  • General power of attorney: General powers of attorney allow the principal to designate an agent who will act on their behalf for certain financial transactions, such as real estate transactions, banking matters, and more. Oftentimes, general powers of attorney give the principal power to enter into or dispose of contracts. That being said, an agent may act on a principal’s behalf concerning stocks and other investments.
  • Durable power of attorney: These powers of attorney allow an agent to act on your behalf for various affairs, such as opening bank accounts, signing checks, running your business, and more. Durable powers of attorney will be terminated upon the principal’s disability or incapacitation.
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare: Durable powers of attorney for healthcare allow the agent to make key medical and healthcare decisions for the principal if the principal is unconscious or cannot otherwise make these decisions for him/herself.
  • Springing power of attorney: Springing powers of attorney give the principal authority to designate an agent for a predetermined moment in time. These powers of attorney only become effective on the date established in the agreement.
  • Limited power of attorney: These designate an agent exclusively for a certain situation. In some cases, a limited power of attorney may be enacted if the party is unavailable to conduct a real estate transaction, such as being unavailable for settlement.

How Much Power Does a Power of Attorney Have?

The amount of control a power of attorney has is in your hands. You can give as much or as little power as you want. In order to create the POA that works best for you, reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney.


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.

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