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Empower your future by creating a power of attorney

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Appointing someone with power of attorney is an important aspect of estate planning in Maryland. With a power of attorney, you appoint another person as an agent. If you cannot make those decisions yourself, you give them the ability to act in your place, making financial, medical, or other important life decisions.

Why is it important to have a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is an essential part of estate planning that allows someone to care for your financial needs when you can’t do it yourself. This prevents the court’s time-consuming, expensive, and often embarrassing need to intervene. Without a power of attorney, the court may appoint a guardian to act on your behalf and make financial decisions for you.

The person appointed by you is called the agent. Although a power of attorney covers several financial matters, it does not allow the agent to make decisions on your behalf. This is why many people choose to sign a healthcare proxy or a living will to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on their behalf.

What is a durable power of attorney?

A durable power of attorney means that your agent will continue representing you when you can no longer represent yourself. A durable power of attorney becomes effective as soon as it is signed.

The person you have appointed as your agent is a fiduciary. This means they have a fiduciary duty and responsibility to make decisions in your best interests. They must act prudently and handle your financial affairs without co-mingling their funds with yours.

Your power of attorney is in effect as long as you are alive or until you revoke it. A power of attorney is automatically revoked upon your death. This document is not a substitute for a will. Once you die, an executor or trustee will be named to handle needed financial matters.

Don’t leave important financial matters in the air. Protect yourself, your estate, and those you care about by preparing a power of attorney.