How can I find out who the power of attorney is for my aging grandfather?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How can I find out who the power of attorney is for my aging grandfather?

My grandfather has been placed in a home by his children. He designated two of
them to be executors of his will upon his death and has a will, but they do not
have a power of attorney for him currently. We believe another sibling has done
this but they have denied it. Is a POA public record and if so, how can we
obtain this information?

Thank you.

Asked on February 28, 2017 under Estate Planning, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, a power of attorney does not have to be filed with the court or the clerk and so is typically not a public record--not unless there has already been some litigation or legal action involving it, in which case it may be part of the documents for that case. You can try asking your grandfather's lawyer or accountant, if you know who they are: they may have copies of the document, if it exists.
If your grandfather is no longer mentally compentent (provably not mentally competent, by medical [i.e. doctor] testimony) and there there is no one coming forward with a POA to make decisions, etc. for him, his family can bring a legal action in chancery court (chancery court is a part or division of county court) for an order declaring him incompetent and appointing a legal guardian or conservator (both terms are used) to act and make decisions for him, and look after his welfare. Such a guardian would likely be a family member. If you wish to consider this option, consult with an elder law attorney about it. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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