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Did you know that a Durable Power-of-Attorney won’t help with financial institutions?

durablepoaIf you haven’t already faced this, you will find that the Durable Power-of-Attorney (POA) doesn’t work with U.S. financial institutions. At least that has been our experience, and I have heard from dozen’s of others who found the same issues.

Most financial institutions and insurance companies want the POA to be their version.  A court battle would most likely get you what you need, but we all were thinking this legal tool would be easier to use than it has been.

Three months ago we started to pursue filing a lawsuit for guardianship of my parents. After meeting with many professionals and a little soul-searching, we wanted to first exhaust all other methods. We knew our parents would understand the nature of the lawsuit. Our parents were (and still are some days) resistant to any assistance. We had their friends, doctor and the retirement community suggesting that we do something to help my parents move forward with more dignity — most suggested we pursue guardianship which would allow us to make all the decisions for our parents that they would be unable to overturn.

We recognize how hurt our parents were with the loss of their cars. They didn’t remember that a doctor had written a note to the DMV and their licenses were revoked — so my dad continued to drive. While they initially handed over the keys, they continued to tell everyone their kids stole their car.

We felt the move for guardianship would be a direct hit on my parent’s dignity. There had to be another way to move forward without causing more hurt.

I upped my weekly visits and I have worked to adapt to better serve my parents needs on their terms. Most days, my mom understands they are on the waiting list for assisted living and while I’m sure this won’t be easy, we are moving closer to the right solution for my parents. Reflected.

4 comments on “Did you know that a Durable Power-of-Attorney won’t help with financial institutions?

  1. Reblogged this on Mom & Dad Care and commented:
    A great reminder from fellow blogger Kay Bransford. Make sure all your bases are covered, because if there is a loophole or opportunity for an error, THEY will find one.

  2. I found it depended on the financial institution. One helped me right away and let me make withdrawals as if I were mom. One insisted I bring the POA in person each time – which was not possible because it was a day away. After much aggravation, my lawyer spoke to the banks’ lawyer and got things straightened out. We had the state required version for the state he lives in and the bank was in the same state. Lawyers can work wonders but at a price. Still it was the place checks automatically were deposited inaneI had to use it till mom died and then I closed that account.

    The easiest way I found was for us to be co-owners of dad’s account though that could cause problems at tax time later. For now i can do whatever I need to do including moving money between accounts and paying bills online.

    Depending on the state, i still think the power of attorney is a necessity and a lawyer can get it to work. State law requires it for that is the purpose of the POA. You just have to insist on on talking to the business office and not a teller or even the local office supervisor. You need to talk to the main branch lawyers or business people. They have to know the laws.

    That’s my experience anyway with various amounts of cooperation from 4 different financial institutions in 4 different states.

  3. […] many things they were failing to manage (bills, household maintenance) and many simple fixes their Power-of-Attorney could have fixed were […]

  4. letstalkaboutfamily, your experience (having your lawyer talk to their lawyer) apparently works most of the time. Sometimes even just saying that you will have your lawyer call their lawyer prods the institution enough to do the job.

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