There Are Two Power of Attorney Forms in Maryland—Should You Have Both?

Authored by: Olivia Holcombe-Volke, Esq. –

Elville and Associates


The Maryland Statutory Power of Attorney (MSPOA) is a literal creature of statute – it is in a form that is set forth by Maryland Estates and Trust Code Section 17-202. It is statutorily mandated to be accepted by receiving institutions – if wrongly rejected, the statute provides for penalties and attorney’s fees. It is short, succinct, and in a form that is, verbatim, set forth in the statute. If a client were to choose to only sign one version of a Power of Attorney, it is this one that we recommend.

However, it is our practice to also provide a Durable General Power of Attorney (DGPOA), which is more comprehensive, and covers powers ranging from the Power to Fund Trusts, to the Power to Provide for Recreation and Travel. Importantly, it provides the Power to Gift, which is an important power for an Agent to have on behalf of a Principal in many Medicaid asset protection strategies. The Maryland Statutory Power of Attorney does not provide for the Power to Gift, and, without the explicit provision of this power, its availability is extremely questionable/limited (some would argue nonexistent). It is our practice and advice that utilizing the Durable General Power of Attorney as a supplement to the Maryland Statutory Power of Attorney serves as an additional, powerful tool for a trusted Agent to act on behalf of and protect the Principal.

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