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Wills, Trusts and Estates Blog | Montgomery County, PA

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Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Provisions

  
  
  
  

Pennsylvania power of attorneyOn October 12, 1999, Act 39 of 1999 was signed into law, and most of its provisions became effective on December 12, 1999.  On April 12, 2000, new requirements went into effect.  Act 39 and the new provisions mandated the inclusion of notice and acknowledgment requirements and outlined other features of a Pennsylvania power of attorney.  A power of attorney in Pennsylvania must include a notice.  The notice broadly explains the purpose and effect of the power of attorney to the principal.  If the notice is not included, the agent may have difficulty carrying out its duties in the power of attorney. 

Another requirement for a Pennsylvania power of attorney is the acknowledgment.  The acknowledgement requires the agent to acknowledge, in writing, that he or she understands the nature of the relationship and affirms that he or she will properly discharge his or her duties.  Absent execution of the acknowledgement, a nominated agent will have no authority to act as such agent.  An agent may execute this acknowledgement at any time.

There are additional execution requirements for a Pennsylvania power of attorney.  The power of attorney must be signed and dated by the principal. 

Act 39 changed the terminology from “attorney-in-fact” to “agent.”  An agent acting under a Pennsylvania power of attorney has a fiduciary relationship with the principal.  Certain powers may include the duty to exercise powers in the best interest of the principal, to keep the principal’s funds separate from the agent’s own funds and to exercise reasonable caution and prudence.  Agents are required to keep full and accurate records of his or her actions, receipts and disbursements.  An “agent” is defined as the person designated by a principal in a power of attorney to act on his or her behalf.

Act 39 also clarifies that the Orphans’ Court has jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to an agent acting under a power of attorney.  It is also important to note that for financial matters, the authorization of an agent to act generally terminates with the death of the principal.

A power of attorney executed in another state or jurisdiction and in conformity with the laws of that state or jurisdiction shall be considered valid in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania except to the extent that the power of attorney executed in another state or jurisdiction would allow an agent to make a decision inconsistent with the laws of this Commonwealth. 

The Martin Law Firm is an experienced PA estates and probate law practice serving Montgomery County, PA and the surrounding areas.  Our skilled estates attorneys assist clients with probate and estate administration as well as Pennsylvania estate planning.  Contact The Martin Law Firm for a free case evaluation at 215-646-3980.

Comments

My brother is in prison in Louisiana; his residence is in Pennsylvania. Do I use a Power of Attorney form for Louisiana or Pennsylvania? It will be signed and notarized in Louisiana? His business and home are in PA.
Posted @ Thursday, April 07, 2011 1:13 PM by Sharon Grausam
I would like to discuss this situation with you. Please contact the Martin Law Firm at 215-646-3980.
Posted @ Friday, April 15, 2011 8:26 AM by Jason Martin
My brother has POA of my fathers finances/social security etc.my father still has sound mind. I have just learned that my brother has been using a "joint checking" account with my fathers name on it and as stated by my brother,he is using it as a "savings" account for himself also. This account is used to pay all the bills from both parties.My understanding is my dads money is to be kept separate from my brothers(he is POA)and financial records are to be well kept of where all dads money goes? Am I correct,or should I bring this to his attention?
Posted @ Monday, August 27, 2012 12:15 AM by C Hunter
C, 
 
An agent under a Pennsylvania Power of Attorney is a fiduciary, meaning that he or she is held to the highest standard of loyalty and care that the law provides. As stated above, certain powers may include the duty to exercise powers in the best interest of the principal, to keep the principal’s funds separate from the agent’s own funds and to exercise reasonable caution and prudence. Agents are required to keep full and accurate records of his or her actions, receipts and disbursements. For more information, please visit our Breach of Fiduciary Duty page.  
 
http://www.jbmartinlaw.com/breach-of-fiduciary-duty-estate-lawyers-montgomery-county-pa/ 
 
We cannot provide legal guidance without entering into an attorney-client relationship. If you would like us to represent you, we would be happy to help. Please contact The Martin Law Firm at 215-646-3980 or by email at jbmartin@jbmartinlaw.com.
Posted @ Monday, August 27, 2012 8:50 AM by Jason Martin, Esq.
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