PA House Bill 1429 | NNA

PA House Bill 1429

Notary Law Update: PA House Bill 1429

State: Pennsylvania

Summary:

House Bill 1429 modifies Pennsylvania’s power of attorney statutes. It allows a power of attorney to be signed by the principal by signature or mark or allows a power to be signed by another individual on behalf of and at the direction of the principal. The bill requires most powers of attorney to be acknowledged before a Notary or notarial officer and allows powers of attorney to be electronically signed. The bill disqualifies the Notary from taking the acknowledgment of a power of attorney if the Notary is the agent or witness to the power of attorney.

Signed:  July 02, 2014

Effective:  January 01, 2015

Chapter: Act No. 2014-95

Affects:

Amends several sections in Title 20 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes

Changes:
  1. Requires a power of attorney to be dated, and signed and dated by the principal by signature or mark.
  2. Allows a power of attorney to be signed by another individual on behalf of and at the direction of the principal if the principal is unable to sign but specifically directs another individual to sign the power of attorney.
  3. Provides that the signature or mark of the principal, or the signature or mark of another individual signing a power of attorney on behalf of and at the direction of the principal, must be: (a) acknowledged before a Notary Public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments; and (b) witnessed by two individuals, each of whom must be 18 years of age or older.
  4. Exempts a power of attorney which exclusively provides for health care or mental health care decision making from having to be acknowledged before a Notary or other official authorized to take acknowledgments.
  5. Clarifies that the Notary Public or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments who takes the acknowledgment on a power of attorney may not be the agent designated in the power of attorney.
  6. Clarifies that a witness to a power of attorney may not be the individual who signed the power of attorney on behalf of and at the direction of the principal, the agent designated in the power of attorney or the Notary Public or other person authorized by law to take acknowledgments before whom the power of attorney is acknowledged.
  7. Clarifies that the following powers of attorney do not require the power to be witnessed by two individuals: (a) a power contained in an instrument used in a commercial transaction which authorizes an agency relationship; (b) a power to the extent it is coupled with an interest in the subject of the power, including a power given to or for the benefit of a creditor in connection with a loan or other credit transaction; (c) a power exclusively granted to facilitate transfer of stock, bonds and other assets; (d) 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 or a proxy or other delegation to exercise voting rights or management rights with respect to a legal entity; (e) a warrant of attorney conferring authority to confess judgment; (f) 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. Section 1119 (relating to application for certificate of title by agent); and (g) a power created on a form prescribed by a Commonwealth agency, political subdivision or an authority or instrumentality of the Commonwealth or a political subdivision.
  8. Clarifies that a power of attorney executed (and notarized) in electronic form may be recorded in the same manner as a document subject to the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.
Analysis:

House Bill 1429 modifies Pennsylvania’s power of attorney statutes. It allows a power of attorney to be signed by the principal by signature or mark or allows a power to be signed by another individual on behalf of and at the direction of the principle. The bill requires most powers of attorney to be acknowledged before a Notary or officer authorized to take acknowledgments, but specifically exempts powers for health care and mental health care decision making from having to be acknowledged before a Notary or notarial officer. HB 1429 also allows a power of attorney to be executed in electronic form and electronically recorded under the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. This means that both the principal and Notary may use electronic signatures in signing an electronic power of attorney. The bill also prohibits a Notary from taking the acknowledgment of a power of attorney in which the Notary is the agent and also prohibits the Notary from being one of the two witnesses to a power or attorney.

Read the bill text.

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