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Correctly signing a legal document can be as important as the information contained in the document. Professionals remind Maryland residents that there is a certain way to sign a legal document when acting as a power of attorney. . As using one's power of attorney is, in fact, a legally binding action, it is imperative that documents be signed properly.

Professionals say that the best way for someone with a power of attorney to sign documents is for the attorney-in-fact to sign the person's name followed with "by" and his or her own name, along with the words "attorney-in-fact" written afterward. This could be done as follows: Jane Smith by John Smith as attorney-in-fact. This makes it clear that someone with a power of attorney was the one who actually signed the document.

In fact, it is extremely important that the attorney-in-fact makes it clear that he or she is signing the document on behalf of the other person. If a person does not sign a document correctly, he or she may actually make him or herself personally responsible. So, if an attorney-in-fact finds him or herself in the position of needing to sign a legal document but has questions as to how to proceed, he or she could benefit from contacting his or her legal representative to find the the proper way to complete the signature.

A Maryland resident who needs to draft a power-of-attorney document or a resident who is appointed attorney-in-fact for someone else who has questions can seek guidance from an attorney with experience in estate planning. Not only can an estate planning professional assist with creating a power of attorney, but he or she can also help a client decide who to appoint. As estate planning decisions are important, it is easy to understand why most seek professional assistance when making important estate-related decisions.

Source: nwitimes.com, "Be sure to sign papers correctly under a power-of-attorney", Christopher Yugo, April 26, 2015

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