Estate Planning in Philadelphia, PA
A power of attorney is an important part of estate planning. This legal document gives someone else the authority to perform legal acts on your behalf. This kind of document is useful if you want a particular person to take care of your finances or medical treatment if you become incapacitated or disabled. Without a power of attorney, loved ones can’t make decisions on your behalf or manage your finances without asking the court to assign a guardian. While many people choose to hire an attorney to draft the form for them, you could just as easily create one yourself. And DIY power of attorneys is legal and acceptable as long as they abide by state laws and regulations. People's Justice LLC is here to assist you with your questions on DIY power of attorney in Philadelphia, PA call 855-577-7673 for more information.
Learn More About A Power of Attorney
Power of attorneys generally includes two people — the principal and the agent, or the individual who will act on behalf of the principal. In some instances, you may list more than one agent. However, if you list more than one agent, it’s important to mention whether both parties need to act together or if they can each act independently. To avoid confusion, it’s often better to list an alternate agent in case the primary agent is unavailable. Additionally, the DIY power of attorney should contain the legal acts which the agent is entitled to perform. For example, if the principal is seriously ill, their power of attorney may authorize their doctor to consent to treatment on their behalf. Other powers granted to agents generally include things like buying and selling property, managing a business, paying debts, investing money, partaking in legal proceedings, borrowing money, cashing checks, and collecting debts. Some powers, unless specifically mentioned, are omitted from the power of attorney documents. This omission includes the ability to make gifts and designate life insurance beneficiaries. Regardless of the powers granted to the agent, the agent should act with loyalty toward the principal and is responsible for completing his or her acts with reasonable care. Furthermore, the agent should not profit from the principal’s assets. However, the agent can accept a fee from the principal in exchange for his or her services.
The principal has the right to revoke their power of attorney at any time. In Pennsylvania, a power of attorney ends if the principal becomes incapacitated. If a power of attorney continues after incapacity, it is said to be “durable.” Typically, a power of attorney becomes effective immediately after it is signed. However, if you want your POA to be valid only if you become incapacitated, you will need to create a “springing” POA. If a power of attorney is springing, the method for determining incapacity must be detailed on the document. Finally, in Pennsylvania, a power of attorney must be dated, signed by the principal, witnessed by two adults, and notarized. However, even if you do everything correctly, some financial institutions are reluctant to accept a power of attorney out of fear of being sued. To minimize the likelihood of issues, you may want to execute forms offered by the institutions where you have accounts. If you do this, be sure that the language in the documents you sign with a bank match your original power of attorney. Learn more about DIY power of attorney in Philadelphia, PA by giving us a call.
Contact Us For More Info.
If you live in the area, and need help creating a DIY power of attorney in Philadelphia, PA, give People's Justice LLC a call at 855-577-7673. We can provide all the required forms, and if you need assistance filling them out, we can help, also. In addition to the power of attorneys, we also assist with DIY last wills and testaments. Let People's Justice LLC provide you with some peace of mind. Call us today, or swing by the office.