As discussed in prior blogposts, Power of Attorney documents are some of the most important documents you need to have in your estate planning arsenal. The Power of Attorney can provide peace of mind to you, the Principal, in knowing that your finances—and most importantly, yourself—will be taken care of regardless of what life throws your way.
Part of the struggle that many people find when setting up their Power of Attorney is determining who their Agent will be. Many people will choose a spouse or family member to be their primary Agent. But what happens if that family member or trusted individual lives out-of-state?
Years ago, having an Agent who lived out-of-state may have posed significant challenges, since often the original document was required to be produced in order to gain access to the Principal’s accounts or personal information. But thanks to recent technology and updated statutes, many out-of-state Agents can gain access with minimal trouble. For instance, according to Pennsylvania’s Power of Attorney Statute 20 PA C.S. 5602 (d) “a photocopy or electronically transmitted copy of an originally executed power of attorney has the same effect as the original.” Although it is still important to consider proximity when selecting your fiduciary, modern technology makes it easier for someone to appoint a trusted agent and fiduciary regardless of where they live.