New Statutory Power of Attorney Form

New Statutory Power of Attorney Form approved by Governor Martin O’Malley

In 2010, Maryland enacted the General and Limited Power of Attorney Act.  This act created a Power of Attorney form that, if properly executed, must be honored by a financial institution.  If a financial institution refuses to honor the Power of Attorney, it can be liable for the legal fees of both parties.  The Act was further amended in the 2012 Maryland General Assembly session and was signed into law by the Governor.

The major changes made in 2012 to the Statutory Power of Attorney form are as follows:

The addition of language that warns the signer that the power to create or change a beneficiary designation for a retirement plan can cause the plan to be included in the gross estate of the signer.  This can ultimately cause unwanted tax consequences for the estate.

The inclusion of statutory language for the designation of co-agents.

  1. A clear distinction between a Guardian of the Person and a Guardian of the Property.

The new statutory form will be effective on October 1, 2012.  Powers of Attorney executed using the old form will still be protected by the law.

If you have not yet executed a Statutory Power of Attorney, or have questions about whether you should update a previously executed Power of Attorney, please call the Law Office of Jane Frankel Sims at (410) 828-7775.