The Pennsylvania power of attorney grants authority to one person, the agent, to represent the person who issued the document, the principal, before third parties, both legal and natural.
The main purpose of this document is to enable one person to represent another and conduct certain actions on their behalf if they cannot act for themselves. A person can be unable to act for various reasons, namely:
Reasons for Authorization
Due to the old age
As a consequence of an accident or a health and mental illness
In case they lack professional knowledge to deal with a certain matter
Types of Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of Pennsylvania power of attorney remains effective even after the principal loses the capacity to act for themselves. The principal can also provide that a power of attorney becomes effective only if they become incapacitated.
Pennsylvania General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
To grant authority to someone to represent them in all financial matters and have the ability to take any action that is in their interest, a principal can issue a Pennsylvania power of attorney.
Pennsylvania Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
A limited power of attorney in Pennsylvania provides a list of actions the agent can take on behalf of the principal. This document can also provide a list of the third parties the agent can interact with on behalf of the principal.
Pennsylvania Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
If you are a parent or guardian of a minor in Pennsylvania, you can use this power of attorney to authorize another person to make decisions about the minor’s education, healthcare, and more.
This document can, however, delegate guardianship-like authority only for a short-term period, usually not longer than 6 months.
Pennsylvania Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
The principal can use this document to authorize another person to make decisions about their healthcare. It usually becomes effective only if the principal becomes unable to make their own decisions due to incapacity, unconsciousness, or more.
Pennsylvania Springing Power of Attorney Requirements
This type of Pennsylvania power of attorney “springs” into effect only after a certain date or event, as determined in the document. In practice, the principal usually provides that a power of attorney will become effective only if they become incapacitated.
Pennsylvania Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
You can use the Pennsylvania vehicle power of attorney to authorize another person to buy or sell the vehicle on your behalf. In addition, you can also authorize them to take all necessary actions in connection with the title transfer or vehicle registration before the Pennsylvania DMV.
Pennsylvania Revocation Power of Attorney Requirements
The principal can use this document to revoke any previously used power of attorney. After the revocation, the principal must inform the agent and all relevant third parties so the revocation can take effect.
Pennsylvania Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
This document can authorize your accountant to:
Scope of Authorization
Communicate with the Pennsylvania tax authorities.
Submit the tax reports.
Fill tax returns.
Access your tax records.
Sign all the tax-related documents on your behalf.
Pennsylvania Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
A principal can use the real estate power of attorney to authorize another person or company to manage and maintain the property on their behalf. It’s also common to use this type of document to authorize the real estate agent to complete the real estate transaction on behalf of the principal.
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania
When drafting the Pennsylvania power of attorney, make sure it is in line with the following requirements:
Signatures. The principal or another person at the direction of the principal must sign or mark the power of attorney.
Witnesses. In addition, 2 adult witnesses must also sign the power of attorney. They cannot be a person named as an agent or a notary public that acknowledges the document.
Notarization. Every Pennsylvania power of attorney must be acknowledged by the notary public or another party authorized to take acknowledgments.
Statutory language. Every Pennsylvania power of attorney should include the notice as provided in § 5601(c).
Mental capacity. When signing the power of attorney, the principal should have the mental capacity and understand the meaning and consequences of their action.
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the agent or attorney-in-fact must be:
At least 18 years old and with the legal capacity to act
Trustworthy and act in the best interest of the principal
Willing to act on behalf of the principal
Located near the place where they can exercise the delegated authority
Have special skills and professional knowledge when handling legal or tax-related matters.
Additionally, there should be no conflict of interest. For example, the agent cannot serve as the witness or notary public who acknowledges the principal's signature.
How to Create a Pennsylvania Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
You should choose the proper type of Pennsylvania power of attorney depending on the matter you want the agent to deal with and the period of time you want the document to be effective.
#2. Select an Agent
Choose an adult who has the legal capacity and is trustworthy and willing to represent you before third parties and protect your interests.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
You can issue a general power of attorney and enable the agent to take any necessary action that is in your best interest. You can also provide a limited list of actions the agent is allowed to take and name the third parties they can interact with.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
Once you’ve gathered all the details, you can find the appropriate Pennsylvania power of attorney template on our website, insert your details, and you will have a professionally drafted document that’s ready to be used.
#5. Get It Signed & Notarized
Every Pennsylvania power of attorney must be signed by the principal or another person instructed by the principal. In addition, every such document must also be acknowledged by the notary public or other body authorized for such acknowledgment.
#6. Safely Store the Original Copy
The principal should keep the original version of the power of attorney in their possession.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
The agent should also have one copy of the document so they can prove their capacity to any third party they interact with on the principal’s behalf.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
If any of the details in the power of attorney change in the meantime, the principal should update it by issuing a new document with the updated information.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in Pennsylvania?
A Pennsylvania power of attorney becomes effective on the day the principal signs it unless the document provides that it will become effective on some other date or after certain conditions are met.
A power of attorney terminates in the following cases:
Reasons for Termination
If the principal passes away
In case the principal becomes incapacitated (unless it’s a durable power of attorney)
If the principal revokes the document
When the agent passes away or becomes incapacitated (unless there is a co-agent or a successor agent)
If the purpose a power of attorney is issued for is completed
Pennsylvania Power of Attorney FAQ
You should use a power of attorney whenever you want to authorize another person to handle a certain matter on your behalf.
It enables another person, called the agent or attorney-in-fact, to take certain actions on your behalf within the scope of authority you’ve delegated to them using this document.
In Pennsylvania, every power of attorney must be acknowledged by the notary public or other relevant organization.
Yes, even if you’ve already issued a will, you should also make a power of attorney. The main difference between these two documents is that the former allocates your property after you’ve passed away, while the latter protects your interests during your lifetime.