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Powers of Attorney and Healthcare Decision-Making: Proposed Amendments to the Probate, Estates, and Fiduciaries Code

 

            In response to the Vine and D.L.H. rulings of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Subcommittee on Guardianships and Powers of Attorney reviewed the topics of powers of attorney and health care decision-making and presented its recommendations at the 2011 annual meeting of the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee reached consensus on the recommendations, and the Subcommittee subsequently finalized specific statutory amendments to the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code, which are contained in this report.

 

            The major statutory amendments that form the basis of this report concern the following:

 

(1)     Third party liability and immunity regarding powers of attorney under 20 Pa.C.S. Chapter 56, in light of the Vine ruling.

 

(2)     An acknowledgment by the principal and affidavits of the two witnesses for powers of attorney.

 

(3)     Health care decision-making by guardians under 20 Pa.C.S. Chapters 54 and 55, in light of the D.L.H. ruling.

 


           Along with the proposed legislation, this report contains official comments, which may be used in determining the intent of the General Assembly.

 

            Finally, this report contains select 20 Pa.C.S. Chapter 54 provisions and a list of the members of the Advisory Committee since its inception in 1945.
 

JOINT STATE GOVERNMENT COMMISSION - GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
108 FINANCE BUILDING - HARRISBURG, PA 17120