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  • Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney Legal Definition

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Power of Attorney legal definition: In Pennsylvania, power of attorney is defined as a legal document that grants one person the legal authority to act on another’s behalf. The person appointing a power of attorney generally selects a family member or close friend. 

In a power of attorney:

  • The person who is given this power is known as the agent
  • The person granting this power is known as the principal
  • The agent may have very narrow or very broad authority

The function of a power of attorney is to give the right to conduct any business the principal could not perform him or herself, including:

  • Banking
  • Managing and paying bills
  • Making medical decisions

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When acting on the principal’s behalf, an agent has a duty to:

  • act in her best interests
  • exercise reasonable caution and due care
  • keep personal assets separate from the principal’s assets
  • keep detailed records of all actions taken on behalf of the principal

There are two types of power of attorney:

  • Durable Power of Attorney – This type of power of attorney remains in effect even after the principal has become disabled and loses the capacity to make legally informed decisions. 
  • Springing Power of Attorney – This type of power of attorney is drafted to take effect only upon the occurrence of an event that leaves the principle disabled or incapable of making legally informed decisions.
 

Sources: https://www.lawdepot.com/law-library/faq/power-of-attorney-faq-united-states/#question0_4 


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