Thursday, October 05, 2006

PA Model Power of Attorney Form Updated

The Pennsylvania "Power of Attorney" law, in Chapter 56 of the PA Probate, Estates & Fiduciaries Code, found online in an unofficial form here, does not contain any models of POA forms. Generally, this is good legislative policy, so not to "lock in" an unchangeable form where the needs of users will differ.

However, customized forms create concerns for institutions, which review proposed agent actions for legality under the differing provisions of various documents.

To alleviate these concerns, the Philadelphia Bar Association recently updated its previously published form of power of attorney, recommended for use when institutional interaction is anticipated. It was announced on various lawyer listservs recently by the following message:


The Executive Committee of the [Philadelphia Bar Association's] Probate & Trust Law Section is pleased to announce that the generic banking power of attorney first introduced to the Section in the late 80s, which became obsolete with the change in the power of attorney statute in 1999, has been reprised with the appropriate adaptations, and is now available electronically in two prominent websites:
Philadelphia Estate Practitioners Handbook, and the Probate Section website of the Philadelphia Bar Association, under the Resources link.

These forms are also capable of being filled in on-line as to the name of the banking institution, depositor, agent and account.

The forms are intended for use at all banking institutions for banking or safe deposit boxes, but not for retirement accounts. Attorneys are encouraged to have clients sign these forms in addition to attorney-drafted general powers of attorney, in order to reduce the time and effort needed to convince banking institutions to accept powers of attorney presented to them on forms other than those promulgated by the institutions involved.

This project was the virtually single-handed effort of
Gene Gillin, who, with the advice and consent of the Rules and Practice Committee and the Executive Committee, revised and improved the old form and had it set up in an Adobe write-in format.

Regional banking institutions are being asked to become familiar with the form and to honor it when presented by depositors.

Thanks go to Robert H. Louis, Esq., who wrote the message on the Philadelphia Bar Association's listserv, and to Daniel B. Evans, Esq., who forwarded the message. Most thanks go to Eugene H. Gillin, Esq., who updated the institutional POA form.