Will I be liable back property tax if I am her POA?

Q: My friend wants to make me power of attorney. She wants to give me all her belongings when she passes away for taking care of her now. She owes $6,000.00 back property tax that she says she cannot pay, I just want to know if I will be liable for that? (Swissvale, PA)

A:  As an Agent for a Principal under a Power of Attorney, you would have no personal liability unless you acted beyond your scope of authority. You cannot sign a will for her as her Agent. She needs to sign the Will. If you inherit the house through the will, you would be liable for the property taxes. I have seen taxing bodies sue heirs of real estate under a will, even when they do not take title by deed. If you inherit other money from her, you may be able to pay the taxes. You should get an idea of what her estate would consist of and what her estate expenses will be and review it with a lawyer.

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