Everyone should consider drafting a power of attorney in case they become incapacitated and are no longer able to make important decisions for themselves. A power of attorney is a document that grants authority to an agent to act on behalf of the principal. Having a POA is a good idea to protect yourself if you become unable to take care of your finances or medical treatment and want someone else to have the power to make the decisions on your behalf. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can explain the benefits of a POA to you and can work to help you to prepare for growing older.
Witness and signature requirements for a POA in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law requires that POAs must be signed by the principal and witnessed by two people who are ages 18 or older. The document must also be dated and notarized. If the principal cannot write, he or she is allowed to sign the document by using a mark or by asking someone else to sign the POA for him or her. If one of these methods is used, there must be two witnesses who are adults to watch the signing of the document in addition to the notary public. The witnesses to a power of attorney must not be the agent who is granted the authority or a person who signed the document on the principal’s behalf.
How to get a financial POA in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the legislature has not drafted a standard form to use to create a financial POA. However, the law does require a notice and acknowledgment that you must include at the beginning of a financial POA that you draft. You can find the notice and acknowledgment in 20 Pa. Code § 5601(c)-(d). You can choose to modify a POA form from another state, but you will need to make certain to include the notice and acknowledgment. There is also specific language that you should use in your POA that can be found in 20 Pa. Code §§ 5602 and 5603.
You are able to file a copy of your POA with the Orphan’s Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas, but it is not required. If your POA will include the authority to make decisions about real estate transactions, you can also record it in your county’s office for recording deeds.
Pennsylvania health care power of attorney
Pennsylvania law also allows you to create a health care power of attorney, but there is no standard form. You are able to create a health care POA if you over the age of 18. The law also allows minors under the age of 18 who have graduated from high school, are legally emancipated or are married to create health care powers of attorney.
To be valid, your health care POA has to be signed by you, dated and witnessed by two people who are 18 or older. If someone signs your POA on your behalf, the signer may not be a witness. Health care providers are not allowed to sign for you or serve as an agent. You can find more information about health care POAs in Pennsylvania in 20 Pa. Code § 5451 et. seq.
Medical and financial decisions should not be left to chance. To learn more about the requirements for drafting POAs in Pennsylvania, talk to the professionals at Elder Care Direction.