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Preparing for the future requires time and care. However, even the most prepared individual cannot plan for certain situations, such as an emergency or unexpected accident.

When a medical event causes a person to become unable to represent himself or herself, the family is put into a difficult situation. A power of attorney can help in those instances as well as other circumstances.

Establishing a power of attorney can be a sensitive issue. At the Law Offices of Kelton M. Burgess, LLC, we are committed to offering strong legal guidance and compassionate advocacy to our clients in a range of estate planning matters, from powers of attorney to advanced care directives and other areas. With the help of our dedicated Pennsylvania estate planning team, you can establish a power of attorney that best fits your needs.

Our team at the Law Offices of Kelton M. Burgess, LLC proudly serves clients throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area and surrounding counties.



What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney works in every state; however, the rules vary from one state to the next. A power of attorney is a document that bestows power upon an appointed individual who legally becomes your agent. More specifically, it gives your agent legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.

It is also important to know that, under Pennsylvania law, in Pittsburg and throughout the state, you can choose a successor agent if your original agent is either unwilling or unable to perform his or her duties.

Types of Powers of Attorney

There are three key types of powers of attorney: general, durable, and limited.


A general power of attorney gives your agent authority to act on your behalf in many situations. This type of power of attorney could be temporary or permanent. The agent’s authority could cover many areas. Consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to learn more about establishing a general power of attorney.


As the name implies, a durable power of attorney remains effective for the longest period of time. It will be legally valid until you either revoke it or pass away. If you are interested in establishing a durable power of attorney, it can help to meet with your attorney every few years to revisit the document.


A limited power of attorney is narrow in scope. It may be used to give permission for your agent to act on your behalf in specific situations. For example, through a limited power of attorney, your agent could represent you in the sale of your home while you are out of the country. Or, it could be contingent upon certain circumstances, such as certain medical situations.

Why Are Powers of Attorney Important?

A power of attorney provides several key benefits for your estate planning portfolio. It provides convenience in many situations, but more importantly, it gives you control.

If you do not have a power of attorney and something happens to you that causes you to become unable to represent yourself, then a Pennsylvania court may have to become involved and appoint an agent for you. The process of having such an important decision made in such a public way can be avoided entirely with a power of attorney.

Considerations When Choosing a Power of Attorney

The choice of an agent is extremely sensitive and important. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can guide you through the process in a confidential and compassionate way.

Many individuals choose a family member to act as their agent. Under Pennsylvania law, you can choose any competent adult. Above all else, it is critically important to choose someone you trust.


Establishing your power of attorney is a key part of the estate planning process. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can be confident that your wishes will be respected under Pennsylvania law. Our team is dedicated to advocating for your interests. The Law Offices of Kelton M. Burgess, LLC is proud to represent clients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area and surrounding counties. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.