A durable power of attorney is a signed document granting another person the authority to act as an agent for you during your lifetime. It is called “durable” because it continues even after you become unable to make legal and financial decisions.
Most powers of attorney go into effect immediately upon your signature. However, you can still make all your own legal and financial decisions even if you have named someone else as your agent.
It is important that you think hard about whom to grant this power to. At the Quinn Law Firm, our estate planning attorneys can help you make a decision that works best for you.
How The Process Works
Pennsylvania law mandates you sign a power of attorney document that acknowledges that you understand the very broad powers you are giving to your agent. Your agent has the ability to act on your behalf and handle all of your financial affairs as if you were doing them yourself. This can include:
- Paying your bills
- Moving money around your various accounts and investments
- Selling property and other assets
- Signing checks on your behalf
Your agent must also promise to exercise these powers cautiously, to act for only your benefit and to keep accurate records of all of the activity that they undertake on your behalf. Because your agent has so much authority over your finances it is important to pick an agent whom you trust completely and who you know will handle your affairs appropriately. Many people designate a spouse or one of their children who is now an adult.
Talk To Our Lawyers Today
If you have more questions about durable powers of attorney and how one might be beneficial to you, contact an estate planning attorney at the Quinn Law Firm today. You can schedule a consultation via email or by calling our office in Erie at 814-806-2518.