Power of Attorney
If you’re in a situation where a power of attorney is needed, you need to work with an experienced estate law attorney. Trust the attorneys at Devine Law to ensure power of attorney is prepared correctly and in accordance with your preferences. Depending on the intended purpose, power of attorney can be just as important as a will.
What Power of Attorney Does
With power of attorney, an individual known as the principal will choose someone to legally act on their behalf. This person is referred to as the agent. This individual will be able to take several actions for the principal, including:
- Authorizing consent for medical treatments
- Signing contracts
- Paying bills
- Making decisions in the event of a terminal illness
In Pennsylvania, all power of attorney establishments must be in writing. While it is possible for an individual to grant broad authority power of attorney, most powers of attorney have specific purposes and stated powers. The individual requesting power of attorney must be mentally capable of understanding what powers they are granting to the agent. Furthermore, it is possible to share power of attorney through a co-agents.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial Power of Attorney grants your preferred representative the ability to make certain financial decisions on your behalf. Pennsylvania has stipulations with financial powers of attorney. Your desired agent is prohibited from taking certain actions unless specifically given the authority to do so. These actions, referred to as “hot powers,” include the ability to:
- Transfer funds from one account to another
- Change your estate plan
- Make charitable donations
- Change beneficiary designations on IRAs or insurance policies
Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney designates an individual of your choosing to make physical or mental health decisions on your behalf in the event of an emergency. An arrangement of this nature may also be used to allow an individual named as your agent to sign documents prior to a surgical procedure.
An advanced directive is typically paired with a living will in Pennsylvania. This document that names individual who will be making medical care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
Why Hire the Power of Attorney Lawyers from Devine Law?
The attorneys at Devine Law have experience with all types of powers of attorney, including two most common types involving finances and health-related decisions. While there are standard forms that can be used, we prepare documents that can be personalized to specific preferences. An example of this includes the waiving of certain rights the agent may have. Additionally, our power of attorney lawyers ensure that everything is executed properly with all required signatures.
Power of attorney is a crucial decision and one often made during turbulent circumstances. Work with the power of attorney lawyers at Devine Law to ensure you understand your options and make the correct plan for your situation. You can also count on our expertise as the situation continues to change.
When Does a Power of Attorney Expire?
All powers of attorneys expire when the principal dies. In some cases, it may expire when the individual who had it made become incapacitated. If a power of attorney is several years old, we recommend having it renewed to ensure that the principal’s wishes are still the same. Under state law, third parties have the right to question it if they believe no longer reflects the wishes of the principal.
Whether you have an existing power of attorney that needs updated or you are looking to have one drawn up for a specific purpose, the estate law attorneys from Devine Law in Lancaster, PA, is ready to advise and assist you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an attorney during our convenient office hours.