Powers of attorney provide an effective way for an incapacitated, elderly or unavailable persons (the principal) to appoint someone else as their agent to oversee and manage the personal, financial and medical affairs of the person making the power of attorney. Traditionally, there is little court oversight or regulation of the agent under the power of attorney. As you might imagine, some agents abused their powerful position to the detriment of the principal they were supposed to be helping.
Among the major changes to Pennsylvania’s power of attorney statute involves the power of an agent to gift away property of the principal. A written power of attorney must explicitly provide an agent with the ability to give away the principal’s property. An unscrupulous agent could use their power even to gift property to themselves. The gifting power must now be explicitly be provided in the power of attorney to be effective.
Subsequent posts will examine 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.