July 5, 2022

Volume XII, Number 186

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Power of Attorney: Useful, When Executed Correctly!

A Power of Attorney, (“POA”), is a useful instrument that allows you to authorize an “agent” to make financial decisions on your behalf, during your lifetime. This document, if executed correctly, is recognized by banks and other financial institutions, and allows a trusted individual to manage everything from daily banking affairs to buying and selling property.

However, for a POA to be valid, it must be compliant with applicable governing law. The following characteristics are required for a valid POA in Pennsylvania:

  1. It must be in writing, dated, signed, and notarized

  2. It must be witnessed by two individuals over the age of 18

  3. It must contain a signed Notice as provided by 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5601(c)

  4. It must contain a signed Acknowledgment as specified by 20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5601(d)

The signed Notice and Acknowledgment are two provisions required by Pennsylvania law which must be included in every POA:

Notice: The Notice uses specific language required by the law to ensure that those creating their POA understand its power and contents. It is a page-long statement that should be found at the beginning of every POA, titled “NOTICE”.

Acknowledgment: The Acknowledgment verifies that the agent who is appointed under a POA understands its power and their responsibilities under the instrument. It is a short paragraph that should be found at the end of a POA and must be signed by the agent.

©2022 Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & GefskyNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 39
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About this Author

Jamie M. Drennen Associate Attorney Estates Will Probate Lawyer Pittsburg Pennsylvania Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky
Associate

Jamie Drennen is an associate attorney at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky. Ms. Drennen’s area of focus is estate planning and administration. Ms. Drennen holds a bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University, where she majored in finance. Ms. Drennen is also a graduate of Duquesne University School of Law, where she was honored for outstanding oral argument. Her published article, An Analysis and Prediction of Federal Taxation as it Pertains to Crowdfunding, appears in the Duquesne Business Law Journal.

Prior to joining SMGG, Ms...

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