Loretta’s Law Law and Legal Definition
Maryland General and Limited Power of Attorney Act, 2010 codified at Annotated Code of Maryland, Estate and Trust Article, §§’s 17-101 to 17-204 is known as the Loretta’s law. The law is largely a response to the story of Loretta Soustek, an elderly woman whose niece abused her power of attorney and stole nearly half a million dollars from her between 2001 and 2005. This new law, among other things, 1) adds new requirements for a valid power of attorney in Maryland, (2) creates standards of care to be exercised by an agent, and (3) seeks to avoid the issues that have arisen in the past when financial institutions, title companies, clerk’s offices and other third parties reject powers of attorney. The biggest change in the new law is requirement of the attestation of two witnesses to the principal’s signature. The notary may be one of the witnesses. Previously in Maryland no witnesses were required. The Act came into effect on October 1, 2010.