What is a power of attorney?

You may have a situation where you or a loved one needs to create a power of attorney in Pennsylvania. In this situation, it is a good idea to understand exactly what this legal document is and what it can do. According to the National Caregivers Library, a power of attorney grants a person the right to make decisions for you. 

Obviously, this is a very powerful document. However, there are restrictions on it. A power of attorney can be limited so only specific rights are granted to someone else. For example, you could limit your power of attorney so a person can only make decisions for you in the area of health care. 

The person granted the power of attorney is called the attorney-in-fact. This person is typically paid for his or her services, so this payment amount and related details should be included in the power of attorney paperwork. 

You can choose anyone you want to be your attorney-in-fact. You should choose carefully because any decisions made under the power of attorney are legally considered your decisions. If you cannot trust the attorney-in-fact, it could lead to problems for you. 

Typically, to avoid issues with this, the document will include restrictions and reporting requirements. The court does not monitor powers of attorney, so you have to build into your document regulations to protect yourself and your assets. 

Finally, it is important to understand a power of attorney is only valid while you are alive. You can make it void after creation, though. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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