Update to Pennsylvania's Power of Attorney

Pennsylvania has updated its laws about powers of attorney for finances. The bulk of the changes aim to protect and inform the person who is creating the power of attorney, to make sure agents understand the importance of the job they're doing, and to make it easier for banks and other financial institutions to accept powers of attorney. The changes include:

  • Updated required language in the NOTICE
  • Updated required language in the Acknowledgement of Agent
  • Two witness signatures are now required for every power of attorney
  • Clarified and refined agent's duties and liabilities
  • New obilgations and protections that allow institutions to rely on the authenticity of a power of attorney
  • Copies of powers of attorney are now as good as originals

Here is the revised language for the NOTICE:

  • The purpose of this power of attorney is to give the person you designate (your “agent”) broad powers to handle your property, which may include powers to sell or otherwise dispose of any real or personal property without advance notice to you or approval by you.This power of attorney does not impose a duty on your agent to exercise granted powers, but, when powers are exercised, your agent must use due care to act for your benefit and in accordance with this power of attorney.Your agent may exercise the powers given here throughout your lifetime, even after you become incapacitated, unless you expressly limit the duration of these powers or you revoke these powers or a court acting on your behalf terminates your agent's authority.Your agent must act in accordance with your reasonable expectations to the extent actually known by your agent and, otherwise, in your best interest, act in good faith and act only within the scope of authority granted by you in the power of attorney.The law permits you, if you choose, to grant broad authority to an agent under power of attorney, including the ability to give away all of your property while you are alive or to substantially change how your property is distributed at your death. Before signing this document, you should seek the advice of an attorney at law to make sure you understand it.A court can take away the powers of your agent if it finds your agent is not acting properly.The powers and duties of an agent under a power of attorney are explained more fully in 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56.If there is anything about this form that you do not understand, you should ask a lawyer of your own choosing to explain it to you.I have read or had explained to me this notice and I understand its contents.

Here is the revised language for the Acknowledgement by Agent:

  • I, _________________________________, have read the attached power of attorney and am the person identified as the agent for the principal. I hereby acknowledge that when I act as agent:I shall act in accordance with the principal's reasonable expectations to the extent actually known by me and, otherwise, in the principal's best interest, act in good faith and act only within the scope of authority granted to me by the principal in the power of attorney.

You can read Pennsylvania's laws about financial powers of attorney for finances here: 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5601.

    Read more about Making a Financial Power of Attorney in Pennsylvania.

    You can use Quicken WillMaker to make an up-to-date Durable Power of Attorney for Finances or Limited Power of Attorney for Finances. Or, make a Limited Power of Attorney for Finances using Nolo's Online Forms.