A Maryland power of attorney allows you—the principal—to delegate your authority to another adult—the agent—to act on your behalf and represent your interests in situations where you cannot do so yourself.
This document is important for individuals who may become incapacitated due to illness or injury or for those who simply need assistance managing their affairs.
It is crucial to select the appropriate type of power of attorney that suits your needs. For this reason, we outlined the different types of powers of attorney available in Maryland and the requirements necessary to create them.
Types of Power of Attorney in Maryland
Maryland Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
A durable power of attorney allows an individual to appoint a trusted person to manage their affairs and make important decisions on their behalf in case they become unable to do so themselves.
This type of power of attorney is called "durable" because it remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated due to an illness, injury, or disability. (§17–105)
Maryland General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
With a general power of attorney, the appointed agent is authorized to handle a range of financial and legal matters on behalf of the principal, such as managing bank accounts, paying bills, filing taxes, and making investment decisions.
This type of POA can be tailored based on the principal's wishes.
Maryland Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
A limited power of attorney includes specific instructions and limitations on the agent's actions.
The principal can choose to limit the agent's authority to a particular task or set of tasks or specify the duration of the agent's authority, which can be for a specific period of time or until the task is completed.
Maryland Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
The Maryland minor power of attorney allows a parent or legal guardian to appoint another trusted adult—a standby guardian—to care for and make decisions regarding the child's healthcare, education, and general welfare for a maximum of 180 days.
This document is useful in case the parent or legal guardian becomes incapacitated or unable to take care of the minor themselves, like when facing mental or physical health issues or adverse immigration actions.
Maryland Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
With a medical power of attorney, the agent, as the appointed person, has the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal, such as choosing the type of treatment, consenting to or refusing medical procedures, and selecting healthcare providers. (§5–602)
Unless it specifies otherwise, this kind of power of attorney comes into effect when the principal becomes incapable due to an illness or injury.
Maryland Springing Power of Attorney Requirements
A springing power of attorney is distinct from a regular power of attorney, as it specifies a particular moment when it will come into effect. Once the defined moment arrives, the agent is then authorized to act on behalf of the principal within the limits of the powers granted to them.
Maryland Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
A vehicle power of attorney authorizes an agent to act on behalf of the principal in matters related to their vehicle.
This may include tasks such as registering, selling, or transferring ownership of the vehicle, as well as other car-related transactions that the principal may not be able to attend to personally.
Maryland Revocation Power of Attorney Requirements
A revocation power of attorney allows the principal to revoke or cancel a previously issued power of attorney.
This legal document gives the principal the ability to officially revoke the agent's powers and ensure that any subsequent actions taken by the agent on their behalf will no longer be legally binding.
Maryland Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
A Maryland tax power of attorney grants the agent authority to manage tax matters, such as income tax, employment tax, or other types of taxes, on the principal's behalf.
All the necessary information must be provided in the document so that the agent can effectively manage the principal's tax affairs, as any missing or incomplete information may result in the document being rejected.
Maryland Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
A power of attorney for real estate allows the principal—a property owner—to delegate authority to an agent to make property-related decisions and deal with any legal issues that may arise on their behalf.
This type of power of attorney is useful in situations where the principal is unable or unwilling to deal with such matters themselves.
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Maryland
Age and mental capacity. The principal must be over 18 years of age and of sound mind, i.e., capable of understanding the importance of granting authorization.
Written form and signatures. The power of attorney must be in writing, signed by the principal and two witnesses.
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in Maryland?
To be considered for selection as an agent, the individual must first meet the requirements of being of legal age and of sound mind. This means that the agent must be at least 18 years old and capable of understanding the meaning of the concept of an agent and the responsibilities that come with it.
In addition to meeting the legal requirements, it is important for the agent to possess the necessary knowledge and skills for the assigned tasks. Moreover, one of the crucial factors in selecting an agent is the level of trust and confidence the principal has in the person.
How to Create a Maryland Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in Maryland
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
The principal's needs will determine the type of power of attorney they select. If, for example, it is about car registration, the principal will use a motor vehicle power of attorney.
#2. Select an Agent
By choosing a reliable and confidential agent, the principal can rest assured that their affair will be carried out successfully.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
By defining the powers of an agent, the principal ensures that their wishes are followed and that the agent only acts within the scope of their authority. This also provides protection against any unauthorized actions or decisions made by the agent.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
Our website offers professional templates for various types of authorizations, which can save you time. You can easily download and fill out these templates to create the necessary documents for your specific needs.
#5. Get it Signed & Notarized
The principal and two witnesses must sign the power of attorney. Even though it's not required, having the power of attorney notarized can add to the document's credibility and the principal's safety.
#6. Safely Store The Original Copy
The principal should keep the original copy of the power of attorney in a safe place, such as a secure home safe.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
The principal should make copies of the document and provide them to the agent, as well as any relevant third parties who may need to verify the agent's authority under the power of attorney.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
To avoid disputes and liabilities, every change in the agent's authority must be supported by an updated power of attorney. This implies the principal's duty to deliver the updated power of attorney to the agent and relevant third parties.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in Maryland?
A power of attorney in Maryland can last for a specified amount of time until it is revoked by the principal or the principal becomes disabled or dies.
If there is no expiration date or event specified in the power of attorney, it is considered durable and will stay in effect until revoked or the principal dies.
It is vital to note that a power of attorney immediately expires when the principal dies. Furthermore, as long as the principal is able to do so, a power of attorney can be revoked at any moment.
Maryland Power of Attorney FAQ
A power of attorney is used when the principal is unable to manage their affairs themselves, for whatever reason.
Powers of attorney give the agent authority to manage the principal's affairs on their behalf and in their best interests.
In Maryland, notarization is optional, so it depends on the principal.
Yes, because a power of attorney and a will serve different purposes and should both be part of your estate planning. A power of attorney enables someone to act on your behalf while you are alive, and a will specifies how your assets will be distributed after you pass away.