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A valid Power of Attorney (POA) allows the Principal - the person granting the POA - to designate an agent to handle their affairs.  In Pennsylvania a POA may be limited in scope to specific tasks, or it may be very broad to encompass almost anything a principal can do.  The language of the POA determines its scope.  POAs are governed by statute in Pennsylvania at 20 Pa. C.S. Ch. 56. 

Reasons for granting a Power of Attorney to someone you trust could be that you want them to handle your financial affairs or make medical decisions.  A Power of Attorney can allow the agent to deposit checks, communicate with creditors, oversee investment accounts and real estate.  Sometimes dealing with insurance companies or banks on behalf of a loved one can be difficult without a POA.   Having the POA in place before the need for such things is essential.

Recent amendments to the Power of Attorney statute in Pennsylvania have added new protections for consumers but also additional procedural hurdles to creating a valid POA. For example, to be valid a Power of Attorney must be notarized and have two witnesses, who cannot also be the notary or one of the agents.  

POAs cease to have any effect after the principal is deceased.  A Power of Attorney is different than an Advance Health Care Directive  and “Living Will.” 

Contact our office today if you have questions regarding obtaining a Power of Attorney and estate planning.  Attorney David M. Tkacik, Esq. can be reached at or 412-414-9644.Type your paragraph here.