Powers of attorney provide an effective way for an incapacitated, elderly or unavailable persons (the principal) to appoint someone else as their agent to manage the financial and medical affairs of the person. Traditionally, there is little court oversight or regulation of the agent under the power of attorney. As you might imagine, some agents abused this position to the detriment of the principal they were supposed to be helping.
The first major change to Pennsylvania’s power of attorney statute involves the signature, execution and notarization of the power of attorney. In what would have seemed like common sense, under the revised statute 20 Pa. C.S. Section 5601, the principal’s signature on the power of attorney MUST be formally acknowledged and notarized, and MUST be witnessed by two individuals, neither of whom may be the notary nor the agent appointed under the power of attorney. A simple notarization and acknowledgement are not the same thing.
Subsequent posts will examine the additional changes.
If you have questions about powers of attorney, guardianship, incapacity, nursing home care, medical assistance or Medicaid, it is crucial that you talk with an experienced elder law and estate planning attorney. At Amori & Associates, LLC, attorney Scott M. Amori would be happy to discuss your situation. Please contact Amori & Associates at (570) 421-1406 for a no obligation consultation.