Maryland Power of Attorney – Part 2

Maryland Power of Attorney

Upon review of the new financial power of attorney statutory language for both the short and long form, there are many good aspects with the new provisions.  There are enforcement provisions in this new law.  Before, a bank could refuse to honor your power of attorney and there would be virtually no way to force the bank to honor your power of attorney other than jump through their unique requirements.  The agent must keep a record of all receipts, disbursements and transactions.  There are other requirements as well.  The execution requirements will change.  While there is bound to be much confusion when this is enacted on October 1, 2010, overall, this was a good move by the Maryland General Assembly and this a positive development for our seniors.  There are more safeguards into its use.  There more defined routes to attack misuse.  There is language that can be used to make this enforceable.

If you would like to know the background of why the new power of attorney laws are called “Loretta’s Law” please follow this link:

8 thoughts on “Maryland Power of Attorney – Part 2

  1. jeanne

    I have POA for my father who is in the hospital now and is going into a nursing home. Bank of America will not honor this POA. I’ve been able to sell his car and other property, cancel his insurance etc., the POA was good enough for that. I need to pay his present bills and the fees for the nursing home. What laws in the state of Maryland govern this issue?
    Thank you for your help

  2. Adam Roa Post author

    At present, a financial power of attorney holder cannot force a bank to honor a power of attorney. There are a variety of reasons why a bank may not honor a power of attorney (i.e. it is too old, does not contain a notary seal, does not specifically address the account at issue, etc.). All of these are not valid reasons to dishonor a financial power of attorney. My guess is that your father may be eligible for Medicare (if he has more than 3 nights in the hospital) and you may have some breathing room from immediate payment obligations to the nursing home. Give our office a call. The worst case scenario is seeking court authorization to access this account. However, before taking that drastic step, I would like the opportunity to review the power of attorney and the situation in its entirety and have our office give the Bank of America legal counsel a call.

  3. Virginia

    I have full POA over my mother and all her accounts are joint with my name on them. They have the POA on file, yet the bank is refusing to inform me of any large transactions, refusing information as to why they allowed her to trasfer halfe her life saving out to anothr account, and refuses to say where it went or do anything to reverse it (another family members influence on her is suspect) why will the bank not help me reverse this at all?

  4. Adam Roa Post author

    It sounds like the bank does not want to get caught in the middle of one joint account holder transferring funds out of this account. Under the new guidelines, there are additional protections in place that can force institutions to honor powers of attorney. The key is if that power of attorney was executed and is in conformity with the new guidelines that went into effect in October 2010. The Maryland rules surrounding financial powers of attorney changed in dramatic fashion effective October 2010. If you have not already done so, you should contact an elder law attorney to review the document and give you a game plan as to the anticipated next steps.

  5. Amy Teichman

    My stepfather had durable power of attorney for my mother who died of Parkinson’s Disease. She had severe dementia, especially during the few months before she died. My stepfather, who does not get along with my daughter or myself, went online one month prior to her death and while she was incapacitated, and removed us as beneficiaries from my mother’s IRA. He is trying to say that he needed money for her care and that he is reimbursing himself for money spent on her. Both of these things I doubt are the true reasons. Was he within his legal rights to do this or is there some protection in the law for us as beneficiaries. My mother would never have wanted this to happen. She would be horrified. Please let me know where the law stands on this and if I have any legal recourse. Thank you!

  6. Adam Roa Post author

    This may indeed be a case of a defective financial power of attorney either obtained when your mother was incapacitated or subject to undue influence. There are certain actions that a fiduciary may take on behalf of another but there are some severe restritions. Since your mother passed and this is a non-probate asset, this is likely a Circuit Court matter. You need to act on this sooner rather than latter. The issue is even if you win against him, the next issue is collection. If he has already spent the funds and has no other assets, collection could be an issue. Feel free to give our office a call.

  7. SJ Moore

    My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers. I was executor of will and my sister and I were joint POA. While I was out of the country, my sister had all legal documents secretly changed into her name as primary and 2 of the POA in her son-in-laws name, and 2 in my name. Originally Mom’s checking and savings account were in all three names however are now in only sister & Mom. This is the farthest my Mom would have wanted. My sister has done 4 new wills and changed one POA into 4. This is over a period of two years.
    She is now taking funds from the sale of Mom’s house, car, etc. cd’S and buying new ones and listed them as sister & Mom as owners, including the checking and savings which I was previously on.
    My sister won’t let me know anything financially she is doing and I don’t know how many accounts are hidden. Is she legal or just immoral?

  8. Adam Roa Post author

    It sounds like this is financial exploitation. There are certain protections regarding powers of attorney and certain rights you have to demand certain information from your sister. This may also be a case that warrants court intervention by way of an appointment of a guardian. In that fashion, your mother’s assets are under court supervision. Also, it would be the guardian that could force the issue that the jointly held accounts with your sister on them are really your mother’s accounts. Feel free to give our firm a call to discuss this issue.

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