A Maryland durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone ( the “principal”) to appoint someone else to make decisions on their behalf. The term “durable” implies that the document remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
In Maryland, a power of attorney can be:
- general (granting the agent authority over all business and personal areas)
- limited (granting the agent authority over the areas outlined in the document)
A medical power of attorney is called an advance directive in Maryland.
Here is what you need to know to create a durable power of attorney in the Free State.
Maryland Durable Power of Attorney Requirements
In Maryland, power of attorney forms are durable by default.
Relevant Laws: § 17-101 (Maryland General and Limited Power of Attorney Act).
Presumed Durable: Yes — presumption of durability (§ 17-105).
Signing: The signature of the principal is required.
Notarization: Requires notarization (§17-110).
Statutory Form: Yes — § 17-201.
How to Fill Out a Maryland DPOA Form
Here is how you can easily complete a durable power of attorney form for Maryland.
Step 1: Designate an Agent
To designate an agent for the DPOA form, the principal must be:
- at least 18 years old
- willing to give authority to the agent designated in the document
- mentally competent and fully aware of the implications of a power of attorney
The principal should choose an agent that they trust to act in the principal’s best interests. Both parties write their names and addresses at the top of the durable power of attorney form.
Step 2: Grant Authority
The principal should be as specific as possible when defining the powers granted to the agent, in order to protect themselves and increase the likelihood of the DPOA being honored. If you use the DPOA for financial purposes, you may grant power to your agent to act in the following areas:
- real estate
- stocks and bonds
- retirement plans
- banks and financial institutions
You can also write specific instructions about which actions the agent can perform on your behalf.
To authorize certain real estate transactions in Marlyand, the DPOA needs to be executed the same way as a deed and later recorded.
Step 3: Ensure Your Form is Durable
In Maryland, a power of attorney is presumed to be durable unless it’s specified to be non-durable on the form.
Step 4: Sign and Date the Form
To complete the paperwork, the principal must sign and date the durable power of attorney form.
In Maryland, your form also needs to be notarized and witnessed by at least 2 witnesses.
Storing and Using Your Form in Maryland
Once completed, the DPOA should be stored in a safe deposit box or secure place in your home.
To use the durable power of attorney, you should provide a copy of the form to your agent. For good measure, you should also give a copy to family members, friends, and third parties where it will be used (landlord, bank, or a state agency).
Signing on Behalf of the Principal
For an agent to sign on behalf of the principal, the latter should contact the third party or place the DPOA will be used, and provide both IDs.
The agent can then sign on your behalf as follows:
by [Agent’s name]
Power of attorney
Revoking a Durable Power of Attorney in Maryland
A principal can revoke a power of attorney by creating and filing a revocation of power of attorney.
If a spouse is named as an agent on the DPOA, this authority automatically ends if one of the parties files for divorce. For such events, it’s a good idea to add a successor agent to the form that will become your main agent instead.