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Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Template

Choose someone to act in financial matters on your behalf by executing a power of attorney (POA). FindLaw’s guided process means you can complete your own POA quickly and easily.

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Power of Attorney

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Do I really need a power of attorney in Pennsylvania?

A power of attorney is one of the most important safeguards you can have to protect your property and money. A power of attorney allows you to choose someone to make financial decisions for you if you ever become physically or mentally unable to make your own decisions.

If you do not have a power of attorney and become incapacitated for a significant time, a court likely will need to appoint someone to manage your property and finances. Court involvement can be expensive for you and stressful for your loved ones.

A power of attorney also can be useful when you are healthy. For example, if you want someone with expertise to manage property or negotiate a deal for you, you can give them the authority to do so.

Get a free Pennsylvania Power of Attorney Template on this page in PDF. Download the sample template to see what a POA document looks like.

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Written by:

Jeff Burtka, Esq.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

Bridget Molitor, J.D.

Managing Editor

How it works

The process takes less than an hour, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Indicate who your agent will be and what authority you want them to have

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary

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How to get a Pennsylvania power of attorney

Understand how a POA works in Pennsylvania

A power of attorney is a legal document. It allows a person (the principal) to give another person (the agent) the legal authority to make decisions and take actions on the principal’s behalf.

Despite its name, it does not give someone the power to practice law or act as your lawyer. Instead, it allows someone to act as if they were you and to legally bind you to the decisions and actions they make on your behalf.

There are many types of powers of attorney in Pennsylvania. The two main types are the financial power of attorney and the health care power of attorney. A financial power of attorney is a power of attorney that allows an agent to make decisions relating to the principal’s finances, property, and personal care.

However, a person cannot use a financial power of attorney for health care decisions. To make health care decisions, an agent will need a health care power of attorney.

Decide how much authority to give your agent

Ask yourself why you want a power of attorney. Do you want it to allow someone to take care of your finances when you cannot? Do you need someone to manage property or handle a transaction for you now?

Powers of attorney can be limited or broad, and you can have more than one. You could have a broad power of attorney for when you are incapacitated and another one for a limited purpose.

Select agents you trust

The most important thing when choosing an agent is to pick someone you trust. Your agent for a power of attorney will have the power to use your property or money and legally bind you with their actions.

An agent for a power of attorney should be responsible with money. They should be comfortable dealing with banks and financial and legal professionals.

You can appoint more than one agent to act as co-agents. Your co-agents must act together unless your power of attorney says they can act separately. In most situations, it is better to have one agent to avoid delay or confusion.

Finally, you should name one or more successor agents in case your original agent is unavailable or unable to serve.

Use a good form power of attorney

Unlike many states, Pennsylvania does not have a power of attorney form in its statutes. However, all powers of attorney must include the notice language from Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 5601, and the principal must sign the notice.

We offer easy-to-use power of attorney forms that follow Pennsylvania law. All you need to do is walk through our step-by-step process to customize it to your needs.

Sign your power of attorney with the correct number of witnesses

You must sign and date your power of attorney. If you are physically unable to sign, you can make a mark or direct another person to sign on your behalf.

You will also need two witnesses and must acknowledge your signature, your mark, or the signature made on your behalf before a notary public. The notary public cannot be one of the two witnesses or your agent designated in your power of attorney. A witness cannot be your agent or the person who signs on your behalf if you cannot sign.

In Pennsylvania, your agent must sign an acknowledgment of the power of attorney before they can act on your behalf.

Deliver the power of attorney to people who need it

You should give a copy of your power of attorney to your agent and to any businesses or banks you want your agent to conduct business with.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • You don’t know who to choose as your agent
  • You want to use a POA for Medicaid planning
  • You want to discuss which powers you should give your agent
  • You want legal review of your completed power of attorney
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Frequently asked questions about powers of attorney in Pennsylvania

There are several types of financial powers of attorney in Pennsylvania. The following are powers of attorney you should be familiar with:

Durable power of attorney

A durable power of attorney remains effective when you are incapacitated. If you want your agent to manage your finances or property when you are unable to do so, you should create a durable power of attorney. In Pennsylvania, a power of attorney will be considered durable unless you specifically state that it does not survive incapacity.

Nondurable power of attorney

A nondurable power of attorney terminates when you become incapacitated. You must clearly state that your power of attorney is not durable and will terminate when you are incapacitated if you want a nondurable power of attorney.

A nondurable power of attorney can be useful when you want to supervise your agent’s actions under a limited power of attorney.

General power of attorney

A general power of attorney is a power of attorney that gives your agent broad power to act on your behalf. When planning for incapacity, most people will want a general power of attorney that is durable so their agent can manage their property and finances for them.

Limited or special power of attorney

A limited or special power of attorney is a power of attorney that gives your agent limited powers. You could limit their authority to one transaction or a few types of transactions.

Springing power of attorney

A springing power of attorney does not become effective until a future date or a future event, including incapacity. Most people use a springing power of attorney to keep their agent from having power until they are incapacitated.

Many attorneys warn against using a springing power of attorney because it can create problems if it is not clear you are incapacitated. Many banks and financial institutions are reluctant to accept springing powers of attorney without definitive proof that the principal is incapacitated.

You do not need a lawyer to make a power of attorney. If you have a good form, like the forms we offer above, you can create your own powers of attorney.

However, if you have concerns about what powers to give your agent or who your agent should be, you can consult with an attorney licensed in Pennsylvania.

If you are competent, you can revoke a power of attorney at any time. You should give your agent written notice of the revocation and notify all banks and financial institutions where you have accounts. You also should notify every business where your agent has acted on your behalf.

Pennsylvania law gives people and businesses the ability to reject your agent’s authority if they have a valid reason. Before accepting your agent’s authority, a person or business can ask them to provide one of the following:

  • An affidavit or certification from your agent confirming their authority or any fact relating to the power of attorney
  • A translation if the power of attorney is not in English
  • An opinion from an attorney about the power of attorney

If an agent refuses or fails to respond to a request for any of the above documents, the person can refuse to accept the power of attorney. Even if your agent provides the requested document, a business can refuse to accept the power of attorney if they have a good reason to believe the power of attorney is not valid.

However, suppose they refuse and do not have a good reason. In that case, they can be liable for the financial harm caused by their refusal, or a court can order them to accept the power of attorney.

The process for getting a power of attorney for an elderly parent is the same as it is for anyone else. However, you must ensure your parents are competent to fill out and sign a power of attorney.

If they do not have the mental or physical capacity to understand what they are signing, do not help them fill out a power of attorney. If they are unable to sign or you aren’t sure they are of sound mind, you should consult with an attorney licensed in Pennsylvania. An attorney can help you petition a court to appoint you or another trusted adult to make financial decisions for your parents.

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