Be aware that a Power of Attorney must comply with Pennsylvania’s Power of Attorney laws (April, 2000), and begin with a Notice page.
Pa Powers of Attorney – Notice
The Notice page must be in capital letters.
The Notice page explains and warns the rules surrounding the immense power of a Power of Attorney and the corresponding authority of the Agent.
Pa Powers of Attorney – Notice – Caution
If you executed a Power of Attorney prior to that date (April, 2000), and the Power of Attorney does not contain the Notice page, it is defective and will most likely cause more problems that it should be able to solve.
Pennsylvania Estate Law, Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Fiduciary Accounting, and Fiduciary Taxation are extremely complex areas of law.
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” (Mark Twain).
Whether you are a Pa Agent (under a Pa Power of Attorney), a Pa Surrogate (under a Pa Living Will), a Pa Trustee (under a Pa Trust), and/or (most importantly) a Pa Executor (under a Pa Last Will), you will ultimately be responsible for any and all problems, mistakes, and unpaid taxes.
Please also be aware that, when it comes to tax returns that were not filed, there is no statute of limitations – meaning that you could receive notice that taxes were due, but not paid, and are still currently due.
Lastly, and most importantly, if you retained a professional (i.e., a lawyer, an accountant, etc.), call that professional and ask them what is the status of anything with which they assisted you. They should be able to give you accurate, precise, and immediate answers to any of your concerns.
If they do not, please be forewarned.
You may want to seek assistance elsewhere.
In keeping with Mark Twain’s quote, let’s try to separate the lightning bugs from the lightning.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
John B. Whalen, Jr., Esq.