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Powers of Attorney Archives

What happens to powers of attorney following death?

Powers of Attorney are written by Principals to give authority to Agents to handle financial matters. When the Principal passes away, the Power of Attorney ends. Misunderstandings sometimes occur when a friend or relative is given authority to deal with financial matters under a Power of Attorney (POA) and tries to continue handling these matters after the Principal has passed away.

Powers of Attorney for Children over 18

Powers of Attorney are important documents that you should have your children over 18 prepare and sign before leaving for college, trade school or the military. Why should they have Powers of Attorney at 18?  So that, you, as their parents, would be able to handle medical and financial matters for them if they were injured, ill or incapacitated.  Powers of Attorney allow parents to take care of their adult children if the need arises. 

Powers of Attorney 2015

As you may recall, Powers of Attorney in Pennsylvania were changed beginning on January 1, 2015.  I last wrote about some of the changes on October 26, 2014 and wanted to write about some of the provisions.  My prior post had talked about the change in the NOTICE that the Principal signs and the changes in the Acknowledgment that the Agent signs. There were also changes in the some of the powers that can be given to the Agent.    

Family Discussion on Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

A great time for a discussion on Healthcare Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and end-of-life decisions is with everyone sitting around the table at Thanksgiving.  It may not seem that these topics are "fun" to discuss while your family is giving thanks for the delicious food, for being together and for any other good things that happened during the past year, but it is a good time to look ahead and plan for a time when a crisis may occur. 

Powers of Attorney and Gifting

Powers of Attorney may contain authority for the Agent to make gifts of the Principal's assets.  The type of authority to make gifts, whether it is limited or unlimited, or even if the Agent should have any such authority, should be discussed with a certified elder law attorney and then written carefully in the Power of Attorney.

Changes to Powers of Attorney in 2015

Beginning on January 1, 2015, there are changes in Pennsylvania Powers of Attorney.  What are Powers of Attorney?  A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document in which the Principal gives authority to the Agent to do activities for the Principal. The powers given can involve financial matters - making deposits, writing checks, selling assets, gifting, etc. - and/or involve healthcare matters - making medical decisions, making placement decisions, etc. 

Powers of Attorney versus Guardianships

Powers of Attorney are usually prepared as part of long term care planning.   Why?  It is important to name someone to handle your medical matters and financial affairs if you become incapacitated and are unable to make appropriate decisions.  The Principal, you, name an Agent, someone you trust, to make medical decisions or to pay your bills and handle your assets.  The Principal should also name a contingent Agent, a back-up person whom you trust, just in case the Agent is unable to serve. 

Powers of Attorney versus Joint Bank Accounts

If you go to a bank, or other type of financial institution, to add Agents under Powers of Attorney to your account, do not let the bank convince you to set up a joint account. Why not? As an attorney, I am frequently asked this question.

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