Power of Attorney

News & Analysis as of

Changes to Pa. Power of Attorney Law: A Problem for Commercial Transactions

Secured lenders and other parties entering into commercial transactions face new, potentially problematic requirements under recent changes to Pennsylvania’s statute governing powers of attorney (20 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 56), which...more

(US) Revised Pennsylvania Statute Creates Power of Attorney Chaos

The Pennsylvania Legislature enacted extensive changes to Title 56 of the Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries Code affecting powers of attorney, effective as of January 1, 2015. The amendments create a number of issues for...more

Pennsylvania Statute May Jeopardize Powers of Attorney and Confessions of Judgment in Loan Documents – Deja Vu All Over Again

Pennsylvania’s power of attorney law has recently undergone significant changes by virtue of legislation that went into effect January 1, 2015. Among other instruments and transactions affected, the new law will impact all...more

"The Estate Planner" – January/February 2015

In this issue: - Life Insurance – A Powerful Estate Planning Tool for Nontaxable Estates - Four Ways to Transfer a Family Business - Changing Family Makeup Requires Estate Plan Review - Estate...more

How to Answer the Top Five Legal Questions You Will Get from Family Members at Holiday Gatherings

1. Should Mom and Dad give us the house as a gift now so that they don’t have to “give it to the government” later? This is a common question that involves technical medical assistance rules. Generally, the best way to...more

The New Year is Here: Do You Have the Essential Estate Planning Documents in Place?

Essential Estate Planning Documents - Below is a list and brief overview of the documents most commonly identified as the “essential” estate planning documents. Please keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique...more

Estate Planning Pitfall - You haven’t planned for incapacity

Most estate plans focus on what happens after death — but a plan is incomplete if arrangements haven’t been made in the event of mental incapacity. If the plan doesn’t specify how these decisions will be made, and by whom, a...more

General Powers of Attorney: Pennsylvania Law Changes

Pennsylvania recently passed Act 95 of 2014, which introduced sweeping changes to the law governing General Powers of Attorney. The changes fall into three main categories: (1) execution requirements, (2) powers that must be...more

Pennsylvania Makes Significant Changes to Power of Attorney Law

Act 95 of 2014, signed July 2nd by Governor Tom Corbett, made significant modifications to the law governing Powers of Attorney (Chapter 56 of the Probate Estates and Fiduciaries Code, 20 Pa.C.S.A §5601, et. seq.). The...more

Recent Changes to the use of Power of Attorney (POA)

Using a Power of Attorney (“POA”) could soon be a lot more complicated. New legislation was passed in Pennsylvania in an effort to minimize the opportunities for abuse perpetrated using a POA and to provide clearer guidance...more

National Estate Planning Awareness Week

This week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. It is a common misconception that only the very wealthy need estate plans. This may explain why 55% of Americans do not have estate plans. However, the truth is...more

Health Care Decisions - Who Decides?

Like most states, North Carolina recognizes a person’s fundamental right to make his or her own health care decisions. Sometimes, however, it is not possible for a patient to make or communicate a health care decision. A...more

NJ Judge Clarifies the Role of Power of Attorney in Divorce Proceedings

In a published decision, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Jones declared that a spouse involved in a divorce action must personally participate in the proceeding where the spouse is found to be mentally...more

Third Party Immunity for Relying on Powers of Attorney

There is no such thing as no liability, but as a result of recent sweeping changes to Pennsylvania's Power of Attorney statute, third parties should have a much higher level of comfort when taking direction from agents. If...more

New Yorker Cartoonist Lauds Elder Law Profession in Interviews About Her Book

The popular New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast has created a graphic memoir of coping with her parents’ final years, titled Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? The book has received widespread attention and critical...more

The Battle Over Casey Kasem’s Medical Care: Lessons in Incapacity Planning

Last month I mentioned that every person should have a basic estate plan, including a medical directive. This directive is not only necessary for the elderly, but also for anyone who could find themselves incapacitated...more

Bill Would Change Post-Death Decision Making in Michigan

Michigan law currently permits any resident to designate a "patient advocate" during his or her lifetime. The patient advocate is tasked with making health care decisions – often including the ability to withhold or withdraw...more

Poland Supreme Court Decision Regarding Representation of a Limited Liability Company

On April 24, 2014 the Supreme Court issued a decision resolving an unsettled issue with respect to the representation of a limited liability company: whether the grant of a power of attorney by the management board of a...more

Lessons from Real Life: Why Everyone Needs an Advance Health Care Directive

End-of-life decisions are among the most difficult a family will ever face. Most people do not like to think about life support, ventilators, and artificial food and hydration. Young people, especially, believe that...more

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies HELOC Fee Cap Decision

On January 31, the Texas Supreme Court released a January 24 supplemental opinion clarifying a June 2013 opinion in which it invalidated state regulations that (i) defined “interest” with regard to home equity loans to...more

Power of attorney abuse: What can you do about it?

A financial power of attorney — sometimes called a “power of attorney for property” or a “general power of attorney” — can be a valuable planning tool. But it’s susceptible to abuse by scam artists, dishonest caretakers or...more

Tax Law Blog: Do My Estate Planning Documents Need to Have Special Language to Deal with My Digital Assets?

This is the final post in a four-part series about Digital Assets and estate planning. One would think that an executor, trustee, or agent under a Power of Attorney would have authority to obtain information about your...more

New Online End-of-Life Planning Tool Now Available to NC Citizens and Health Care Providers

A new tool is now available for North Carolina citizens and health care providers that will help everyone understand end-of-life health care planning options and processes available under North Carolina law. The new website...more

Arbitration Agreement with a Care Facility is not Enforceable when not Authorized by the Patient Herself

A California court of appeal recently ruled that an agreement to arbitrate disputes between an elderly patient and a nursing facility was not enforceable. The arbitration agreement was signed by the daughter of the patient...more

Fannie Mae Updates Selling Guide

On October 22, Fannie Mae issued Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2013-08, which updates policies regarding (i) the use of a power of attorney, (ii) DU Refi Plus and Refi Plus eligibility, and (iii) master or blanket insurance...more

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