How would I get a Power of Attorney for my husband who is overseas for financial purposes?

04/24/2009 - Power of Attorney - State: PA #16123

Full Question:

Can I get Power of Attorney papers drawn up online? My husband is in Iraq and I am trying to get a loan that he is okay with but they require Power of Attorney papers or his signature.


A power of attorney is a legal instrument that gives someone else the authority to make certain decisions and act for the signer. The person who has these powers is called an agent or attorney-in-fact. The person designated to be the agent assumes certain responsibilities, including acting in the principal's best interest and following the principal's directions. In most instances, all the principal needs to do to create a legally valid power of attorney is properly complete and sign (before a notary public) a power of attorney document. For a power of attorney to be effective, the principal must be competent to give this authority. In other words, the principal must know and understand what types of decisions need to be made. If the principal is mentally competent, but physically unable to sign his name, any mark the principal makes with the full intention that others regard the mark as the principal's signature will be acceptable. If the power of attorney grants the power to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of the principal's real estate, the principal should also have the power of attorney recorded with the Registry of Deeds.

The following are Pennsylvania statutes:

20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5601. General provisions

(a) General rule. — In addition to all other powers that may be delegated to an agent, any or all of the powers referred to in section 5602(a) (relating to form of power of attorney) may lawfully be granted in writing to an agent and, unless the power of attorney expressly directs to the contrary, shall be construed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Execution. — A power of attorney shall be signed and dated by the principal by signature or mark, or by another on behalf of and at the direction of the principal. If the power of attorney is executed by mark or by another individual, then it shall be witnessed by two individuals, each of whom is 18 years of age or older. A witness shall not be the individual who signed the power of attorney on behalf of and at the direction of the principal.
(c) Notice. — All powers of attorney shall include the following notice in capital letters at the beginning of the power of attorney. The notice shall be signed by the principal. In the absence of a signed notice, upon a challenge to the authority of an agent to exercise a power under the power of attorney, the agent shall have the burden of demonstrating that the exercise of this authority is proper.

The purpose of this power of attorney is to give the person you designate (your "agent") broad powers to handle your property, which may include powers to sell or otherwise dispose of any real or personal properly without advance notice to you or approval by you.

This power of attorney does not impose a duty on your agent to exercise granted powers, but when powers are exercised, your agent most use due care to act for your benefit and in accordance with this power of attorney.

Your agent may exercise the powers given here throughout your lifetime, even after you become incapacitated, unless you expressly limit the duration of these powers or you revoke these powers or a court acting on your behalf terminates your agent's authority.

Your agent must keep your funds separate from your agent's funds.

A court can take away the powers of your agent if it finds your agent is not acting properly.

The powers and duties of an agent under a power of attorney are explained more fully in 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56.

If there is anything about this form that you do not understand, you should ask a lawyer of your own choosing to explain it to you.

I have read or had explained to me this notice and I understand its contents.

___________________ __________________ (Principal) (Date)
(d) Acknowledgment executed by agent. — An agent shall have no authority to act as agent under the power of attorney unless the agent has first executed and affixed to the power of attorney an acknowledgment in substantially the following form:

I, ___________, have read the attached power of attorney and am the person identified as the agent for the principal. I hereby acknowledge that in the absence of a specific provision to the contrary in the power of attorney or in 20 Pa.C.S. when I act as agent:

I shall exercise the powers for the benefit of the principal.

I shall keep the assets of the principal separate from my assets.

I shall exercise reasonable caution and prudence.

I shall keep a full and accurate record of all actions, receipts and disbursements on behalf of the principal.

_______________________ _____________________ (Agent) (Date)

(e) Fiduciary relationship. — An agent acting under a power of attorney has a fiduciary relationship with the principal In the absence of a specific provision to the contrary in the power of attorney, the fiduciary relationship includes the duty to:
(1) Exercise the powers for the benefit of the principal.
(2) Keep separate the assets of the principal from those of an agent.
(3) Exercise reasonable caution and prudence.
(4) Keep a full and accurate record of all actions, receipts and disbursements on behalf of the principal.
(e.1) Limitation on applicability in commercial transaction. —
(1) Subsections (c), (d) and (e) do not apply to a power or a power of attorney contained in an instrument used in a commercial transaction which simply authorizes an agency relationship. This paragraph includes the following:
(i) A power given to or for the benefit of a creditor in connection with a loan or other credit transaction.
(ii) A power exclusively granted to facilitate transfer of stock, bonds and other assets.
(iii) A power contained in the governing document for a corporation, partnership or limited liability company or other legal entity by which a director, partner or member authorizes others to do other things on behalf of the entity.
(iv) A warrant of attorney conferring authority to confess judgment.
(v) A power given to a dealer as defined by the act of December 22, 1983 (P.L. 306, No. 84), [fn1 known as the Board of Vehicles Act, when using the power in conjunction with a sale, purchase or transfer of a vehicle as authorized by 75 Pa.C.S.A §1119 (relating to application for certificate of title by agent).
(2) Powers and powers of attorney exempted by this subsection need not be dated.
(e.2) Limitation on applicability in health care power of attorney. — Subsections (c) and (d) do not apply to a power of attorney which exclusively provides for health care decision making.
(f) Definition. — As used in this chapter, the term "agent" means a person designated by a principal in a power of attorney to act on behalf of that principal.

[fn1] 63 P.S. §818.1 et seq.

20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5601.1. Powers of attorney presumed durable

Unless specifically provided otherwise in the power of attorney, all powers of attorney shall be durable as provided in section 5604 (durable powers of attorney).

20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5602. Form of power of attorney

(a) Specification of powers. — A principal may, by inclusion of the language quoted in any of the following paragraphs or by inclusion of other language showing a similar intent on the part of the principal, empower an agent to do any or all of the following, each of which is defined in section 5603 (relating to implementation of power of attorney):
(1) "To make limited gifts."
(2) "To create a trust for my benefit."
(3) "To make additions to an existing trust for my benefit."
(4) "To claim an elective share of the estate of my deceased spouse."
(5) "To disclaim any interest in property."
(6) "To renounce fiduciary positions."
(7) "To withdraw and receive the income or corpus of a trust."
(8) "To authorize my admission to a medical, nursing, residential or similar facility and to enter into agreements for my care."
(9) "To authorize medical and surgical procedures."
(10) "To engage in real property transactions."
(11) "To engage in tangible personal property transactions."
(12) "To engage in stock, bond and other securities transactions."
(13) "To engage in commodity and option transactions."
(14) "To engage in banking and financial transactions."
(15) "To borrow money."
(16) "To enter safe deposit boxes."
(17) "To engage in insurance transactions."
(18) "To engage in retirement plan transactions."
(19) "To handle interests in estates and trusts."
(20) "To pursue claims and litigation."
(21) "To receive government benefits."
(22) "To pursue tax matters."
(23) "To make an anatomical gift of all or part of my body."
(b) Appointment of agent and successor agent. — A principal may provide for:
(1) The appointment of more than one agent, who shall act jointly, severally or in any other combination that the principal may designate, but if there is no such designation, such agents shall only act jointly.
(1.1) The delegation of one or more powers by the agent to such person or persons as the agent may designate and on terms as the power of attorney may specify.
(2) The appointment of one or more successor agents who shall serve in the order named in the power of attorney, unless the principal expressly directs to the contrary.
(3) The delegation to an original or successor agent of the power to appoint his successor or successors.
(c) Filing of power of attorney. — An executed copy of the power of attorney may be filed with the clerk of the orphans' court division of the court of common pleas in the county in which the principal resides, and if it is acknowledged, it may be recorded in the office for the recording of deeds of the county of the principal's residence and of each county in which real property to be affected by an exercise of the power is located. The clerk of the orphans' court division or any office for the recording of deeds with whom the power has been filed, may, upon request, issue certified copies of the power of attorney. Each such certified copy shall have the same validity and the same force and effect as if it were the original, and it may be filed of record in any other office of this Commonwealth (including, without limitation, the clerk of the orphans' court division or the office for the recording of deeds) as if it were the original.

20 Pa.C.S.A. § 5611. Validity

A power of attorney executed in another state or jurisdiction and in conformity with the laws of that state or jurisdiction shall be considered valid in this Commonwealth, except to the extent that the power of attorney executed in another state or jurisdiction would allow an agent to make a decision inconsistent with the laws of this Commonwealth.

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04/24/2009 - Category: Power of Attorney - State: PA #16123

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