What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney is where a principal gives an agent the authority to take some action for the principal. Typically, the action has to do with managing property. A power of attorney can be drafted narrowly, meaning that the agent can only do one action. For example, sell one piece of real property. Or the power of attorney can be drafted broadly so as to authorize the agent to deal with a variety of situations that may come up in the future.
A power of attorney can also be springing. This means that the agent does not have power to act until two doctors certify that the principal, the person who appoints the agent, is incapacitated.
The Maryland General Assembly has drafted its own power of attorney. This power of attorney is helpful because it has special enforcement powers. If your agent must sue an entity to get the power of attorney enforced because the entity is not honoring the document, the entity may be liable for the attorney fees incurred by the agent to get the document enforced. This power of attorney can be especially helpful when dealing with large banks who sometimes refuse to honor powers of attorney.
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