Establishing a power of attorney is an essential element to consider when developing your estate plan in Maryland. This person or entity will have the ability to act on your behalf, particularly when it comes to matters of financial decision-making and health care.
Someone with experience in financial and estate matters
Nothing can be more hurtful than seeing the legacy or business you’ve built for most of your life fall or fail because of someone else’s ignorance or recklessness. That said, you don’t need just any financial professional but an individual with skills specific to the job. So, before appointing an agent under a power of attorney, you must do your due diligence and understand their experience and background in financial and estate matters.
Someone you trust
In addition to having the relevant expertise, you must also be able to trust this person or entity completely. It would be best if you had someone who will make decisions that are in line with your wishes but also in the best interests of your family. Think about how well you know them, if they have ever violated any ethical boundaries or if they have ever put their interests ahead of others. You should take any red flags seriously before making a decision.
Consider alternate agents
Sometimes unforeseen circumstances may mean an appointed agent cannot act on your behalf. It is, therefore, essential to consider alternate agents who should succeed or replace them if necessary.
Put it in writing
Once you’ve found your person, create an estate planning document that contains all the necessary instructions. Name the person or entity as your agent and state their powers and duties regarding financial decisions and health care matters.
To make your power of attorney valid in court, you will need to sign it in front of two witnesses and have them sign. For added safety, consider having the document notarized.
Your estate plan needs to remain up-to-date, especially regarding the appointed agent. Be sure to review the document every few years or if any changes in your life could affect the appointment, such as a new job or move. Doing this will give you peace of mind and help ensure that everything is properly taken care of according to your wishes.