WILLS & POWER OF ATTORNEY
MARYLAND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
Wills & Power of Attorney in Maryland
Although Maryland law regards wills and powers of attorney as separate documents, both create rights and responsibilities for different parties. Both create a mechanism for one person to legally act on behalf of another and both have specific provisions under Maryland law that they must meet to be valid.
A will is a legal document that describes how the person drafting the document wants to have their assets and property disposed of when he/she dies. The will appoints an executor who distributes the assets on behalf of the decedent. If someone dies without a will, they are considered intestate and Maryland has a specific order in which heirs will receive distribution.
To revoke a will, Maryland only provides four scenarios.
- First, if a testator drafts and properly executes a subsequent will, he or she may revoke the previous will.
- Second, if the testator expressly consents to the destruction of a previous will, it will be revoked.
- Third, if the testator marries or remarries after the original will and has a child, and the child survives the testator, the prior will can be revoked.
- Finally, when a testator gets a divorce after the execution of the first will, all provisions related to the original spouse are revoked.
Power of Attorney grants another person the power to act on the principal’s behalf. Maryland law recognizes three types of powers of attorneys.
- First, a general power of attorney which is typically done for financial matters.
- Second, a limited power of attorney occurs where a principal grants an agent authority to conduct a specific transaction or conduct transactions for a specific period of time.
- Third, Maryland law recognizes a durable power of attorney or medical directive where a principal grants an agent power to make decisions for the principal should the principal become incompetent, disabled or incapacitated.
It’s always best practice to speak with a licensed Maryland family law attorney to find out how your situation applies to Maryland law regarding wills and power of attorneys.
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