Pennsylvania Wills & POA

By A.L. Kennedy

Pennsylvania law allows residents to use both wills and a power of attorney, or POA, as part of their estate plans. A last will leaves instructions to be carried out when you die, while a power of attorney gives someone the ability to take over your major decisions if you are incapacitated.

Requirements for a Pennsylvania Will

In Pennsylvania, anyone who is a legal adult of at least 18 years of age and of sound mind may make a will that will be recognized in a Pennsylvania court. To be "of sound mind," you only need to understand what your last will does and to whom it leaves your property, whether you choose individual people, charities or some combination of the two, according to the Pennsylvania Probate Code. It must also be signed by the testator, or person who wrote it, and by two witnesses who saw the testator sign the will.

Purposes of a Pennsylvania Will

As in all other states, a will in Pennsylvania may be used to indicate who should receive your property after you are gone. You may also name certain people to carry out specific duties after your death. For instance, your will may name an executor who will be responsible for wrapping up your final bills and distributing your estate to your beneficiaries, and you may name a guardian for your children if they are under age 18 when you die, according to the Pennsylvania Probate Code.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan

Requirements of a Pennsylvania Power of Attorney

Pennsylvania allows its residents to give someone power of attorney in case an accident, injury or illness leaves them incapacitated. The grant of power of attorney must be in writing, and you must sign it, along with at least one witness, according to Drexel University. You may use the power of attorney form provided by the state of Pennsylvania, or you may write your own power of attorney form. The person you name must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when the time comes for him to use his power of attorney on your behalf.

Purposes of a Pennsylvania Power of Attorney

Giving someone else power of attorney allows them to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. The person with power of attorney may make medical and legal decisions on your behalf and manage your finances. Although you can leave certain instructions for the person with power of attorney in your living will, Pennsylvania law does not require your power of attorney to follow your instructions, according to Drexel University. Therefore, it is wise to choose someone you trust to carry out your wishes if you are unable to express them. A power of attorney does not survive your death in Pennsylvania, but you may give power of attorney and the power to act as executor over your estate to the same person.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Iowa Living Trust Vs. Last Will



Related articles

Does a Living Will Replace a Will?

A living will and a last will and testament are both part of a comprehensive estate plan, but they deal with different issues. A living will allows you to express your end-of-life health care wishes. A last will and testament, usually referred to as a will, is the document you use to give directions for the handling of your affairs after your death. These documents are designed to work together; signing a living will does not replace your last will and testament.

Ohio Laws on Obtaining Legal Guardianship of a Grandchild

When you become a grandchild's caregiver, you may seek a court-ordered guardianship to gain certain legal rights. A legal guardianship establishes your rights as caregiver and allows you to make child-rearing decisions normally made by the parents.

Requirements for a Legal Will in Minnesota

Anyone at least 18 years of age and of sound mind can execute a will in Minnesota. The state does not recognize oral or unwitnessed wills executed in the state, but will consider such wills if validly executed in a different state..

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help. Wills & Trusts

Related articles

Getting a Divorce in Pennsylvania With a Mentally Ill Spouse

A spouse's mental health may impact various areas of a divorce proceeding in Pennsylvania, including the divorce ...

Do Grandparents Need a Power of Attorney to Take Grandchildren to the Doctor?

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Today, grandparents are often deeply involved in taking care of their ...

Decisions Involved in Making a Will

The nature of making a will can make it easy to become emotional rather than analytical. You might change your mind ...

How to Get Power of Attorney in Michigan

A power of attorney is used in Michigan to give one adult the right to handle another adult's finances. If you want to ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED