How to Get Financial Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania: A Guide

A durable power of attorney in Pennsylvania lets someone handle your money if you can’t.

This person called your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” can do things like deposit your checks, file your taxes, or sell your home for you.

Discover how to get a financial power of attorney in Pennsylvania with this comprehensive guide.

Learn the steps to appoint an agent and manage your finances effectively.

An Image of Financial POA Pennsylvania
How to Get Financial Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania. Photo Source (Freepik)

What Kinds of Powers of Attorney Can You Get in Pennsylvania?

In Florida, you can make two types of POAs:

  1. A power of attorney for finances lets someone handle your money and business matters.
  2. A power of attorney for health care allows someone to make medical decisions for you.

These POAs stay effective even if you can’t make decisions.

It’s a good idea to have these documents in case of unexpected events.

What Legal Requirements Does a Financial POA in Pennsylvania Have?

To make sure your power of attorney (POA) is valid in Pennsylvania, it needs to meet these rules:

  1. Mental Capacity: The person making the POA must be able to understand what they’re doing. They should know the authority they’re giving, which assets are covered, and the information and warnings in the POA. If you’re not sure, ask an estate planning lawyer.
  2. Statutory Language: The POA must include certain notices. Using a good software or a local lawyer should include these notices automatically.
  3. Witnessing and Notarizing: The POA must be witnessed by two people who are not named as agents and signed in front of a notary public. The witnesses must be over 18 and cannot be someone signing for the person making the document, an agent named in the POA, or the notary public.
  4. Acknowledgment Signed by Agent: Pennsylvania requires your agent to sign an acknowledgment and attach it to the POA. This shows they understand their role. Your agent doesn’t have to do this until they use the POA. You can see the sample language for this acknowledgment in Pennsylvania’s statutes at Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5601(d).

How to Make a Financial Power of Attorney in Florida

Here’s how to make a financial power of attorney in Pennsylvania:

  1. Create the POA using software or an attorney. You can get forms from private companies or use software. A lawyer can also help. You’ll grant your agent powers or select specific ones for them.
  2. Sign the POA in front of a notary public and two witnesses. Notarization is needed, and two witnesses must watch you sign and sign the document too.
  3. Keep the original POA in a safe place your family can access.
  4. Give a copy to your agent.
  5. File a copy with the land records office if it involves real estate.
  6. Consider giving a copy to financial institutions your agent might deal with.

Who Can be Named as an Attorney-in-fact (agent) in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, you can choose any capable adult to be your agent.

Think about if they’re trustworthy and where they live. It’s usually better to have just one agent to avoid problems.

Having a backup agent, called a “successor,” is a good idea in case your first choice can’t help you.

When Does My Durable Financial POA Become Effective?

In Pennsylvania, your durable financial power of attorney usually starts working as soon as you sign it in front of witnesses and a notary public, unless you’ve said otherwise in the document.

Pennsylvania doesn’t generally allow “springing” powers of attorney, which only start working after a certain condition is met.

But if you made a springing POA before October 1, 2011, it’s still valid.

When Does My Financial Power of Attorney Expire?

Your power of attorney in Pennsylvania ends:

  1. When you die.
  2. If you cancel it, which you can do if you’re able to make decisions.
  3. If no one is available to help, so it’s good to have a backup.
  4. If a court says it’s not valid, which is rare but can happen if the court decides you weren’t able to make decisions when you signed it, or if there was fraud or pressure.
  5. If you named your ex-spouse as your agent and you get divorced, their authority is suspended.

Conclusion

A durable power of attorney in Pennsylvania lets someone handle your money if you can’t.

You can make this document using software, forms, or with a lawyer’s help.

It must be signed in front of a notary public and two witnesses.

The document stays effective even if you can’t make decisions.

It’s important to choose a trustworthy person and think about having a backup.

The power of attorney ends when you die, if you cancel it, if no one is available to help, if a court says it’s not valid, or if you named your ex-spouse as your agent and you get divorced.