A power of attorney is a document in which you give someone legal authority to act for you. It allows you to assign someone to make decisions for you in case you are unable to make decisions for yourself. There are different kinds of powers of attorney in Maryland:
General v. Limited Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney can be either general or limited. A general power of attorney gives a person the power and authority to act for the principal in all business and personal matters. This usually includes handling bank accounts, taking out loans, purchasing real estate, and entering into a contract in the name of the principal.
A limited power of attorney grants to the person only the powers defined in the document. Limited powers of attorney are often used to give agents the power to act in financial matters, to manage real estate, or to make healthcare decisions for the principal when the principal loses the ability to make decisions for himself. Medical powers of attorney are called advance directives.
Who May Create a Power of Attorney
To create a power of attorney, an individual must:
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Intend to give the power to the person designated in the document; and
- Be mentally competent