Durable Power Of Attorney
Q: Recently tried to transfer my wife's IRA from one account into another account. I have a Durable Power of Attorney which is supposed to give me the right to sign her name for this. (This is being done with wife's full knowledge and consent, it just saved her a trip) However the Bank would not accept the Durable Power since it did not specifically say IRA account in it and that was required (according to them). It does however say" all financial transactions including savings, checking, and stock accounts .." and on and on.... Am I against a company policy thing or is my Durable Power faulty ? It only caused a minor problem in this case, but if I really needed it, or my wife needed hers (she has one for me ), this sort of thing could cause us a real problem. Any suggestions on how to proceed ?
A: It probably is a company policy thing, as power of attorney documents can be abused and financial institutions do not want "line" employees reviewing legal documents such as this to determine whether they are valid. For example, many documents entitled Durable Power of Attorney only become effective if the principal is incapacitated, and a bank does not want its tellers deciding whether the purported "attorney in fact" is acting on behalf of someone who truly is incapacitated. One way of avoiding this problem in the future is to have your name added to your wife's as persons able to draw on the various accounts (bank, brokerage firm, etc.). Call the institution and have them send your wife the forms that she and you will need to sign. -This is often the case with banks. In California, they're legally required to honor powers of attorney, but they often don't, even though if sued, they'd have to honor them AND pay the costs of the suit. I tell my clients to ask their bank if the bank has its own power of attorney form, and if so, complete it. In your case, ask the bank what it can do to accomplish what you want to do--there should be some forms/process available.
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