man in suit signing a his power of attorney

Wills and Estate Planning

DC and Maryland Power of Attorney

Wills and Estate Planning

DC and Maryland Power of Attorney

Should you or a loved one become incapacitated due to an accident, illness, or injury, having a power of attorney already in place can protect your best interests. Not only does this process allow you to designate a trusted family member or representative to make decisions on your behalf, but you can also specify the conditions under which it goes into effect and limit the scope of power given to them.

When creating this document, you should be cautious in who you choose to entrust this authority with and consult with a knowledgeable attorney with proven experience in navigating this complex area of law. At The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl, we can advise you on your chosen representative and suggest what types of authority you should allow them depending on your current life circumstances.

What Does a DC and Maryland Power of Attorney (POA) Accomplish?

Powers of attorney in DC and Maryland are a crucial estate planning tool that helps individuals designate a person to handle certain aspects of their assets should they become unable to do so independently. Some everyday matters that a POA can allow a representative to manage include:
 
  • Financial accounts
  • Real estate
  • Digital assets
 
Without a POA in place, your family would need to go to court to act on your behalf, resulting in delayed decision-making that could leave your estate in jeopardy while you are unable to care for yourself. This makes POA essential in saving time and money when such authorization is necessary. 

What are the Requirements for a Power of Attorney?

Since 2011, state law has required powers of attorney to include two witness signatures and notarization. You must also be legally competent when you sign this document, or a court may declare it unenforceable. These requirements can be easily met by relying on an estate planning attorney at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl to help you create and execute your POA. We can ensure that you have included all the restrictions, expirations, and other provisions necessary to make your wishes known should you become unable to make critical financial decisions independently.

Types of Power of Attorney

There are two primary forms of financial power of attorneys to choose from when planning your estate.

Statutory Financial POA

This option allows your chosen representative to control most of your financial affairs but will enable you to specify some preferences, including choosing a guardian of your estate. This POA requires financial institutions, like your bank, to recognize the authority of the individual you chose to handle your affairs should you become incapacitated.

Limited Statutory POA

Using this type of POA is similar to a statutory financial version, but you can choose which specific areas of authority you are allowing your chosen agent to have.

Supplemental Financial POA

This POA addresses other financial matters not covered under a standard power of attorney. You may want to find out if this is a good option if you have a business to run, digital assets, or other related matters not covered by the other two POAs mentioned above.

Can I Revoke or Rescind a Power of Attorney?

Many circumstances justify rescinding or revoking a power of attorney, but the state only has two ways to do this:
 
  • Upon your death, it automatically gets rescinded
  • Submit a Revocation of Power of Attorney form
 
Because state law requires that all parties involved in your POA be notified of its revocation, you may need to consult with an experienced power of attorney lawyer to ensure that your notice contains all the required information.

Schedule a Legal Consultation About Your POA Today

If you are planning your estate and want to ensure that your assets and money matters are handled, if you cannot do so, creating a financial power of attorney is a wise decision but complicated. At The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl, our estate planning attorneys understand how the law can impact your property and finances should you become incapacitated. A POA is a beneficial solution but choosing the right individual to represent your best interests can be challenging. Trust us to guide you in creating this document with the specifications you need to ensure your wishes are known if the unexpected happens. Contact us today at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280, or online to schedule a consultation to discuss your power of attorney needs.

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