As noted in other articles I have written, Maryland changed its Power of Attorney law effective October, 2010. If an individual uses one of the form Powers of Attorney in the statute, or a power of attorney that is in substantially the same form, and a bank refuses to accept it, then the individual can have the refusing party pay her legal fees if she goes to court to force that party to accept the Power of Attorney.
Because the form documents are not sufficiently comprehensive, lawyers, including William M. Gatesman and Michael G. Day & Associates, with whom Mr. Gatesman is associated, have created Powers of Attorney that are sufficiently comprehensive and which also are “substantially in the same form” as the statutory document. These Powers of Attorney are designed to be comprehensive enough to meet the client’s needs and to also qualify for the attorney’s fees remedy provided for in the new law.
Perhaps to keep everyone on their toes, but in fact to remedy a significant omission in the statutory form, Maryland’s legislature has amended the new Power of Attorney law in recent months. This amendment changes the “Banks and other financial institutions” section of the Personal Financial Power of Attorney form in the statute, which now reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
Banks and other financial institutions – With respect to this subject, I authorize my agent to: continue, modify, transact all business in connection with, and terminate an account or other banking arrangement made by or on behalf of the principal; establish, modify, transact all business in connection with, and terminate an account or other banking arrangement . . . .
Therefore, in order to have a Power of Attorney for which one may rely on the legal fees remedy in the statute after the effective date of the recent amendment, the Power of Attorney should have the language quoted above in the “Banks and other financial institutions” section of the Power of Attorney.
Please contact us for a complimentary review of your existing Power of Attorney.