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Durable, limited, whatever: Power of attorney is a flexible tool p2

We are continuing our discussion of powers of attorney. If that sentence looks awkward, it is probably because the power of attorney is both the document and the authority granted by the document. The principal may grant authority to the agent to do just about anything.

It is important to note that the power of attorney law in Pennsylvania will change on Jan. 1, 2015. We will discuss those changes in a future post.

It is also important to note that states' laws regarding power of attorney vary. As we have noted, according to Pennsylvania law, every power of attorney is presumed to be a durable power of attorney

Not every power of attorney is durable, though. It may be as flexible or as restrictive as the principal deems appropriate. There is a lot of leeway when it comes to what the agent will take care of and how long the power of attorney will be in effect.

For example, someone going on an extended vacation may give a friend or an adult child a limited power of attorney to manage his finances while he is out of town. The document could include a provision that the agent's authority would end the day the principal returns to the country. Or, an astronaut could give her accountant power of attorney for the duration of her flight. The minute she returns to Earth, the accountant's authority ends.

So, the authority may be limited, and the duration of that authority may be limited. But what kind of documentation is required?

We'll finish this up in our next post.

Source: Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes, Title 20, Chapter 56. Powers of Attorney: ยง 5601. General provisions via Westlaw

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