Power of Attorney
If you are age 60 or older (depending on the county you live in) or if you are in need of a Power of Attorney due to reasons such as medical necessity then we may be able to help.
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document you may sign to authorize a person you appoint to make decisions for you. A POA is very flexible. You can give someone full authority to act for you, or limited authority to act or for a limited time period. A POA can be effective immediately, if you become disabled, or in certain circumstances such as if you are on an extended vacation or during a hospital stay. There are different types of POA for certain situations.
A Financial Power of Attorney authorizes a person you designate to generally manage your income, expenses, and your assets, including real estate, if you wish.
A Health-care or Medical Power of Attorney allows someone to make medical decisions for you if you become disabled of it you are otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself.
Pennsylvania has a new law regarding financial POAs effective in January 2015. Generally, a person 18 or older can sign a POA authorizing a person to act for them, but the POA will require two witnesses and a notary public to also sign it. A health care POA may not require two witnesses and a notary public to sign it, but it can be recommended.
A POA is no longer valid once the person who makes it has died.
Guardianship (NOT Power of Attorney) is for a person who is incapacitated, cannot make decisions, and has no family members to act on their behalf. The Guardian may be a family member or an advocate who assists the Court, or a formal guardianship agency, who must act in your best interests in managing your financial affairs and to make medical decisions you are unable to make.
If a senior is in need of services (such as Apprise for health insurance issues including the Pennsylvania PACE program for prescription drugs) or is the victim of abuse, contact Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in your county. AAA which provides a wide-range of elder support services including a Protective Services Unit which responds to physical and financial abuse. You may call your county AAA or the State Aging office at 1-800-490-8505.
Pennsylvania Department of Aging at http://www.aging.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/your_local_resources/17952
For Living Wills/Health Care Power of Attorney see Advance Directives on the PA Medical Society at www.pamedsoc.org