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General provisions - 20 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5601

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                                CHAPTER 56
                            POWERS OF ATTORNEY

     Sec.
     5601.  General provisions.
     5601.1. Powers of attorney presumed durable.
     5601.2. Special rules for gifts.
     5602.  Form of power of attorney.
     5603.  Implementation of power of attorney.
     5604.  Durable powers of attorney.
     5605.  Power of attorney not revoked until notice.
     5606.  Proof of continuance of powers of attorney by affidavit.
     5607.  Corporate agent.
     5608.  Liability.
     5609.  Compensation and reimbursement for expenses.
     5610.  Account.
     5611.  Validity.

        Enactment.  Present Chapter 56 was added February 18, 1982,
     P.L.45, No.26, effective immediately.
        Applicability.  Section 13 of Act 26 of 1982 provided that
     Chapter 56 shall apply to all powers of attorney executed on or
     after the date of enactment of Act 26 and provided that nothing
     in the act shall be construed to limit the effectiveness of
     powers of attorney in effect prior to the date of enactment of
     the act.
        Prior Provisions.  Former Chapter 56, which related to the
     same subject matter, was added December 10, 1974, P.L.899,
     No.295, and repealed February 18, 1982, P.L.45, No.26, effective
     immediately.
        Cross References.  Chapter 56 is referred to in sections 711,
     5601, 7732 of this title section 2713 0f Title 18 (Crimes and
     Offenses).
     § 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.
                                  NOTICE
                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 property
            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 must 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), 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. § 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.
     (Dec. 16, 1992, P.L.1163, No.152, eff. imd.; Oct. 12, 1999,
     P.L.422, No.39; May 16, 2002, P.L.330, No.50, eff. Apr. 12,
     2000; Nov. 25, 2003, P.L.211, No.36, eff. 60 days)

        2003 Amendment.  Act 36 amended subsec. (e.1).
        2002 Amendment.  Act 50 added subsecs. (e.1) and (e.2). See
     section 14(a) of Act 50 in the appendix to this title for
     special provisions relating to applicability.
        1999 Amendment.  Act 39 amended the entire section, effective
     in six months as to subsecs. (c) and (d) and 60 days as to the
     remainder of the section. See section 13(1), (2), (3) and (8) of
     Act 39 in the appendix to this title for special provisions
     relating to applicability.
        Cross References.  Section 5601 is referred to in section
     5843 of this title.
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