Montgomery County Power of Attorney Lawyer
A power of attorney is a widely used estate planning document used to plan for incapacity. As important as it is to have a power of attorney document in place, it is equally as important to understand the implications of signing this powerful document. Selecting agents who you can trust is one of the most important decisions you will make with respect to this document.
Working alongside a Montgomery County power of attorney lawyer could help you prepare the right power of attorney to fit your unique circumstances. Consult with a seasoned trusts and estates attorney today to learn more about how a legal professional could help you.
Understanding the Powers of Attorney
A well-drafted power of attorney will clearly outline what powers the agent, or attorney-in-fact, is and is not granted. While in MoCo, there are available statutory forms that are commonly used, the statutory forms cannot be changed or modified. Given the limitations on statutory forms, many estates and trusts attorneys use the statutory forms in conjunction with their own forms which often provide additional powers.
The ability to make monetary transfers, investments, sell, buy or mortgage real estate, enter contracts and prepare tax forms are usually included in a power of attorney in addition to other provisions. Modern power of attorneys also contain a section addressing the agent’s power over the principal’s digital assets. A power of attorney can also serve to appoint a guardian.
A power of attorney may be general or limited. General powers of attorney are the more expansive of the two. The powers given to an attorney-in-fact named in a general power of attorney are often very broad to account for the many situations that could happen when and if the principal becomes incapacitated. A limited power of attorney is much more restrictive and may only give authority for one purpose or transaction.
Maryland Power of Attorney Act
As the primary authority for MoCo powers of attorney, the Maryland Power of Attorney Act is a comprehensive body of law that addresses a multitude of issues concerning the requirements for a valid power of attorney.
Like other estate planning documents, there are basic elements that must be met in order for a power of attorney to be valid and enforceable. Montgomery County Powers of attorney should be notarized as well as signed by two witnesses. Individuals witnessing a power of attorney should not be related to the principal.
A power of attorney that was properly executed in another state may still be valid in MoCo if proper formalities in that state were observed. Unless they are revoked, powers of attorneys generally remain in effect until the death of the principal. For more information, contact a knowledgeable Montgomery County power of attorney lawyer.
Designating an Agent
A power of attorney gives substantial authority to the agent named in the document. While a power of attorney is an extremely useful tool to plan for incapacity, there is always the potential that the power conferred by this document can be abused. Most people chose a close family member or friend as their agent. In some cases, an individual may elect to name their lawyer as their agent.
Naming two people to serve as co-agents is also permissible. It is always advisable to name at least one alternate agent in the event the first person named is not able or willing to serve.
Get Started Preparing a Montgomery County Power of Attorney
No one wants to think about who will manage their affairs if they become incapacitated but having a reliable plan in place can help you prepare for whatever circumstances life throws your way. Fortunately, a Montgomery County power of attorney lawyer could help you prepare a power of attorney that conforms with all legal requirements and meets your expectations.
To find out more about powers of attorney and other estate planning documents you may need, please call to schedule a time to talk.