Granting a trusted family member or friend the power of attorney to act and make decisions on your behalf is a powerful and effective estate planning tool that allows for the management of your finances, business, health care, and other designated activities. Giving someone power of attorney over any area of your life can be an intimidating process, but a Maryland power of attorney lawyer can help you make this decision with confidence. To discuss your decision and what you need to know legally, consult with a Maryland trusts and estates lawyer today.
- Granting Power of Attorney
- Power of Attorney Categories
- Role of An Attorney
- Vacating Power of Attorney
- Durable Power of Attorney
Do I Need a Maryland Power of Attorney Lawyer?
As with almost any legal process, you can find do-it-yourself power of attorney forms online. However, granting power of attorney is much more than simply naming someone whom you give authority to act on your behalf. You need to understand the various types of powers of attorney, the implications of limited versus general power of attorney, the authorities you are giving to someone else, and the events that will terminate the power of attorney.
By hiring a lawyer to handle your granting power of attorney to someone else, you can avoid potential pitfalls that you might not recognize without the foresight that an experienced professional can provide. You can minimize the chances of the power of attorney being invalidated, delays in appointing power of attorney, questions about the enforceability of the power of attorney, and the abuse of power by those acting on your behalf.
Speaking with a power of attorney lawyer in Maryland can give you direction and help you with determining the estate planning solutions, such as power of attorney, that can best protect and manage your assets.
Understanding Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is the term given to the responsibilities of someone you designate to act on your behalf. This person becomes your agent, or attorney-in-fact, and he or she is legally able to conduct business for you in the event that you are unable to do so. However, it is important to understand how power of attorney works in order to make sure that your needs are adequately addressed.
There are various types of power of attorney, and these can dramatically affect the responsibilities of the POA and his or her authority to make decisions in your absence.
- General Power of Attorney – Giving someone general power of attorney gives them authority to make decisions and conduct transactions in all of your personal business. You may be able to place certain restrictions on the power of attorney, even in granting general power of attorney.
- Limited Power of Attorney – A limited power of attorney gives your attorney-in-fact authority to make decisions in only a specified area. For example, you might give someone authority to make only health care decisions through medical or healthcare power of attorney, or you may authorize an agent only for business transactions through financial power of attorney.
It is also important to understand how long and under what circumstances the power of attorney is effective. In most cases, the power of attorney terminates at a time set by you, upon your incapacity, or upon your death.
If you become incapacitated, the power of attorney will end unless you set up a durable power of attorney that allows the agent to continue working on your behalf.
Some people wish to set up a springing power of attorney, which only allows the agent to make decisions in the event of the principal’s incapacity. However, it is important to understand the pros and cons of a springing power of attorney. Determining incapacity is, in itself, a legal process that can cause delays in allowing your agent to act on your behalf.
Contact a Power of Attorney Lawyer in Maryland
To discuss power of attorney, trustees, and other options for the management of your affairs and your estate, call today to speak with a Maryland estate planning lawyer.