Power of Attorney

In life, there may come a time where you are unable to make a decision for yourself for any number of reasons. A Power of Attorney (POA) gives another person the power to make financial decisions and property transactions on your behalf. The individual who is the subject of the power of attorney is known as the principal. The individual who is named to act on your behalf is known as the agent. You may decide to execute a power of attorney if you become unable to handle matters for yourself due to sickness or an injury, or if you will be away for an extended period of time. It is important to have strong legal guidance when appointing power of attorney. Friedman Schuman has over 30 years of experience assisting clients in estate planning matters, including a power of attorney. If you need legal guidance in appointing someone as your agent or drafting a durable power of attorney, contact Friedman Schuman today.

Power of attorney in Pennsylvania

Anyone can obtain a power of attorney. There are many different types, each applicable to specific situations. While the types of powers of attorney may change, the process to draw up and execute a valid POA is the same. An individual who requests the power of attorney, known as the principal, must designate another person, the agent, to act on their behalf. To ensure validity, a power of attorney executed in Pennsylvania should be signed in front of a notary public, along with two adult witnesses.

What are the different types of power of attorney?

Each type of power of attorney is specific in what they allow an agent to do. The five most common types of powers of attorney include the following:

General power of attorney: A general power of attorney allows the principal to designate an agent to act on their behalf for certain transactions. These may include real estate transactions, banking matters, and other financial transactions. They may have the power to enter into or dispose of contracts. An agent may also act on a principal’s behalf when it comes to other investments such as stocks.

Limited power of attorney: A limited power of attorney designates an agent for only a specific situation. Sometimes this can be for transactions when the party is unavailable. Often times, these are used in real estate transactions if a party is unavailable for settlement.

Durable power of attorney: A durable power of attorney allows for an agent to act on your behalf on a much broader scale. This agent can open bank accounts for you, sign checks for you, make gifts on your behalf, run your business, engage in other transactions, and make other important decisions on your behalf. The biggest difference between a durable power of attorney and a general power of attorney is that the former remains effective until after the principal suffers a disability, while the latter power of attorney ceases upon the principal’s disability.

Durable power of attorney for healthcare: This type of POA grants the agent the ability to make decisions for the principal as it relates to medical and healthcare. Usually, this can be in effect if an individual becomes unconscious or cannot make decisions for themselves.

Springing power of attorney: A springing power of attorney allows a principal to designate an agent for a specific period of time in the future, setting the power of attorney to become effective on that date. Prior to that date, the agent does not have any responsibility to act on the principal’s behalf.

Contact an experienced Montgomery County estate planning attorney

Friedman Schuman provides legal services to clients in Pennsylvania for all their Estate Administration and Estate Planning needs. When it is time to make decisions about your future, such as a power of attorney, it is important to consult with a trusted legal resource. The attorneys at Friedman Schuman have represented clients for over 30 years in all matters related to the estate. If you require strong legal representation when deciding on anything related to the power of attorney, contact Friedman Schuman.