Since January 2015, Pennsylvanians have enjoyed the benefits of a comprehensive new law dealing with Powers of Attorney. How does this affect you if you already have a power of attorney from 2014 or earlier?
In theory, your previous document is valid however, many insurance companies, banks, trust companies, credit unions, stock brokers and other financial entities are not well-instructed or informed enough to accept older powers of attorney, so they reject them and inform you that you need to get a new one.
That may not be a problem for you, outside of the inconvenience and cost. Yet, it may be a critical problem for an aged loved one who is in a hospital, nursing home or hospice care, and who cannot legally sign any documents at all. In that case, your relative needs a legal advocate who understands the issue and can get the power of attorney through the maze of legal challenges that the financial institutions erect.
The new law does not render all older powers of attorney null and void. In fact, it contains language that requires these very financial institutions to honor them but, between the finely-crafted letter of the law and the ears of the clerk who is rejecting it, is a canyon of ignorance that only a qualified attorney can bridge.
So, if you are confronted with an older power of attorney and you have a financial problem in need of a rapid solution, don't permit the initial rejection of your loved one's document to derail your progress. Consult with our office, and we will quickly help you to get back on track.