How can I, as POA, cash my mother's savings bond if she cannot be taken to the bank?

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My mother is currently in a personal care home and will most likely be moved to a more secure facility (and more expensive) in the next few months. She has a savings bond that I would like to cash to help bridge the gap between her current monthly income and the fee at the Memory Care Facility. Her bank will not cash it for me, even though I'm power of attorney and she cannot be taken to the bank. They suggest sending it to the Treasury Dept. I've only found forms online if she were deceased. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks!

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Gunner2020......Good for you!! I know it was a pain to get your dad to the bank but I also love the dramatic when you can't get something done. Although I haven't had any trouble at Bank of America, I'm sure there are lots of stories out there just like LJM's. I can't imagine a bank turning down legal papers that have your name on them and I think that's terrible to make us jump through hoops. It's hard enough getting things done and taking care of our loved ones without having to make 3 dozen phone calls, waiting on hold for an hour and then not getting it resolved (had this happen many times). Or having to take time off from a job to go to an attorney. Hopefully I have learned so much about all of this with in-laws, mother and now dad that I will be prepared so that our son doesn't have to go through all of this.....hopefully. God Bless and Good Luck.
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P.S. I deposited my mother's IRS tax refund via ONLINE deposit. Only I signed it as DPOA, no signature from mom. It processed and neither the CU nor the IRS has not been in touch to question it. Banks do bite - I detest banks.... CUs are usually much better.
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To Dontask4handout:

As cwillie says, the whole reason for appointing someone to have DPOA is JUST FOR THIS KIND OF SITUATION. One would hope you choose wisely and the person appointed is trustworthy and takes care of everything as it should be done, but there are always those few who take advantage of ANY situation.

Also heatherb67 says "So, my question is, when that's money is sitting there and nobody can access it, then what? Assuming that POAs are self-serving and Banks are all good is foolish assumption. When they'll take any "mark" as a legal signature because of their ridiculous requirements, that's absurd because any person can bring an elder in to sign "X" and withdraw their money." No access means you cannot even PAY for the guardianship and stewardship to have the government handle it all!! Yes, we all know what assume leads to, well count me out... As for making marks, how does that bank know WHO the person is signing (sure you could whip out an ID, but at that age many elderly start to either look alike, or not look like their ID photo at all), never mind that they know or don't know that the person is incompetent. This issue is even funnier (not funny haha) over the phone - mom has trouble hearing, so I ask to do the talking and THEY want mom to okay this, but they do not have any way to confirm that is even her on the phone! Some have told me I should just pretend to be her... no, that's not how I want to handle it, it IS lying (although it is for good purpose, I still cannot condone that.) Anyway, it does get somewhat amusing because she will just keep saying 'I can't understand you', NOT 'I can't hear you', which is what she should have been saying. I can hear the
person on the phone from 3 feet away and if I say 'mom, they just want you to say it is okay to talk to me' - without covering the phone she says 'oh they're axxholes'... arrrrg, thanks mom.... very nice... Good point from heatherb67 as well saying with the DPOA documentation - if there is ever a question about financial abuse, there it all is in black and white (perhaps some color too.) You bring in the incompetent, a stand-in, use checks, CC or ATM, there's limited way to prove who-done-it.

"Banks are trained to have certain protocol in place in case of elder financial abuse." - Yes, they do, however it is more for observing someone who is coming in with the incapacitated person and withdrawing funds, either large amounts or on a regular basis. My mother's cousin's son did this with his ALZ dad after his mom passed away, and the bank reported it. The state stepped in and squashed all that. HE was a fool because once the courts took over, they had control of it all - more than likely he never got another dime after his dad passed away. If the OP is merely trying to cash in a bond by depositing it, DPOA should work fine.

"My question is why doesn't she have a guardian?" - Do you know how much time, effort and money it costs to do this??? Not only that, but all the reporting and paperwork that has to be handled with the courts is ridiculous. Actually, guardianship is only for taking care of the person, STEWARDSHIP is for handling financial affairs and it is not to be taken lightly. Doing up the whole HIPPA, medical directives, trust and DPOA was NOT cheap, but going the guardianship and stewardship route is a nightmare in ALL aspects. Just the fact that you say guardian tells me that you do not know much about DPOA, guardianship and stewardship. Maybe instead of playing negative Nancy on this forum you should go look up more information about these three topics (at the least - there are other issues that you comment on that you need to be more informed about - I most certainly do not know everything and will be the first to say so, but if I question something someone says, I will go look up all the information I can about it to be more informed before saying anything.)

"This specific type of situation sounds very familiar because POA can actually end up making a wrong move and gaining from the elder. " - ANYONE, even without POA/DPOA, could take advantage of a person. They would not even have to GO to the bank, they could just con the person into writing a check(s) to them and deposit it into their own account or take them to an ATM machine. If you are going to be critical of one method, why not point them all out? Why do you ASSUME that anyone with DPOA is a cheat waiting for an opportunity to strike? The person/people appointed as DPOA should be someone trustworthy who has your best interest at heart. You do this BEFORE you become incapacitated and you don't just appoint anyone. I've read a number of posts on this forum where one or several children are DPOA while the others were NOT appointed, and obviously mom and/or dad had good reason not to do so. In our case, one brother is not local, so the original paperwork was done up without him on the DPOA because he was not here to sign the paperwork. We cannot appoint him, only mom can, and she is not competent to do so at this point. I warned him that if something happens to both of us who have DPOA, he will have to go the court route. He is on the CU account and the trust, however any decisions or changes that need to be made, he does not have the legal backing to do it. DPOA is quicker and easier to get, less time consuming, is done with principal's agreement before becoming incapacitated, is less expensive and overall less invasive. Personally I have ENOUGH paperwork and running around to do despite mom being in a memory care place that I would NOT want to be dealing with documenting and reporting everything to the courts on a regular basis (monthly?)!!!

"You said the bank wouldn't cash the savings bond, good for them! They're actually doing their job bye protecting their own customers because it's situations like yours where elders are very often taken advantage of, my bio dad was one of them. It's usually the elders who need memory care facilities who are most vulnerable and situations just like you're describing that the banks are protecting their customers from." - Sorry if someone in your own family ripped off your dad, but NO NO NO NO NO. READ the other comments and note how one person had to wheelchair dad in and have him scribble something to get the bank to do what was needed. That is legitimate??? If I had account(s) at that bank and saw that happen, I would close any accounts I had at that bank right away and go elsewhere!!! That is typically what someone WOULD do to scam an elder, or even easier, as I said above, just have them sign a blank check for you, go to an ATM, if you have close access to the person, grab that CC and order up everything you want from Amazon - you can ship stuff ANYWHERE, not just to the CC owner's address!!! No need for any POA or DPOA... Easy peasy.

"If you have unlimited powers as POA, I pity anyone under your care because it's people like your mom who are most vulnerable to elder financial abuse, and the bank was just doing their job." - And PLEASE do tell us, just WHO are you going to trust to handle YOUR affairs, if/when that time comes?? The government???? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, hope there's something left to help you out. With all the graft and theft that goes on in the government, I would worry more about mom or dad's finances if some STRANGER is handling everything. Take the blinders off. Also, who are YOU to pass judgement on this person (OP) asking for help? YOU pity someone under THEIR care? THEY are trying to help by ensuring there will be enough funds to PAY FOR THE PLACE MOM IS GOING TO!!! OP did NOT say they were cashing in the money to take it, but rather explained nicely WHY they needed it and it was REASONABLE to do this. One brother and I have DPOA. So far I have been handling ALL the financial issues: I had all her bills forwarded to me (she was still in the condo) so that they would be paid correctly AND on time, I juggle the funds and have JUST ENOUGH transferred from the trust we set up to cover the monthly/quarterly expenses. Neither brother does much of anything to help with all the finances and paperwork (or anything else for that matter.) I take NOTHING unless I buy something she needs, and then it is ONLY the cost of the item, no extra for my time or gas. The two of us with DPOA agreed to cover the other brother's plane fare/car rental when he came up for the move to help out. When he submitted the totals, he included gas and I said nope. Plane fare and car rental, and any expenses that were for something mom and/or condo needed. I do not take gas money nor do I give any to the other brother. So, if YOU don't have a front row seat in someone else's life, and can witness first hand any kind of abuse, physical or financial, then YOU need to keep your opinions to yourself. Maybe this happened to your dar, but You are ASSUMING ANYONE with DPOA is just out to rip off the disabled/incapacitated, and you are WRONG. Do Not Lump Us All Together.

"To that bank I must say, good for you! Keep on protecting your elderly customers because without you, where would our elders be?" Protecting is NOT the same as prohibiting. There is no harm in being cautious, or requesting more information, more paperwork to back up the transactions and protect the bank (their PRIMARY concern BTW) and their customer, but to block someone from handling that person's financial business could do MORE HARM than good. If the funds are not there, how does OP pay for the newer facility? If the facility does not get paid, mom gets the heave ho - the facility has to protect their interests too dear. DPOA has a purpose and THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IT IS INTENDED FOR!!!!

Okay, flame off...

I swore to get off this forum, but THIS topic AND the PIOUS comments posted really got my goat. Obviously in this person's limited mind view we DPOAs are some kind of scum who are just waiting to rip mom/dad off. Like anyone else I could sure use some extra money, but it is NOT going to come from mom's accounts. If there is anything left after she leaves it all behind, sure, I'll accept my third, but NOT before then.

(as I was finishing this up, these thoughts crossed my mind - I keep very tight control over her accounts because 1) it is the way I handle my own, 2) we do not know how long she might be around, so we need to ensure there are enough funds to cover her for a long time and 3) if we fail to adhere to #2, who does she move in with (one brother still works, the other 1000+ miles away and I cannot take care of her physically!!)? So obviously I am selfish, thinking about myself... ;-D)
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To LJM1962:

You said: "She has a savings bond that I would like to cash to help bridge the gap between her current monthly income and the fee at the Memory Care Facility. Her bank will not cash it for me, even though I'm power of attorney and she cannot be taken to the bank."

Question 1: Are you trying to CASH it or DEPOSIT it? Since your intent is to cover the monthly gap, one can surmise that this is a very large savings bond which once cashed will be needed/used over time. If this is the case, they are being ridiculous. ANYONE can deposit a check or cash into someone else's account, they just will not give you the receipt (unless you are joint on the account) - it would be mailed the your mother's last listed address. I've done it for others and had others do it for me, with NO POA of any kind. Withdrawing funds is a different story, that should never happen without DPOA (better still is if you have DPOA AND are joint on the account.) If it is a large bond, at a minimum they should allow you to deposit it and place a hold on it (although it IS a federal document and should NOT have a hold at all, perhaps they could do that to satisfy their own paranoia).

Question 2: Are you POA or DPOA? There is a HUGE difference between the two. The attorney handling my previous house sale was granted POA to handle signing paperwork for me so I did not have to drive 2 hours each way to sign a few pages! However that is where her capability ended. POA is usually limited and temporary, AND is NOT usable when a person becomes permanently disabled/incapacitated. DPOA, on the other hand, is EXACTLY what is needed for those who are no longer capable of handling finances, bill paying, and other general issues. THAT is the whole purpose of it - it should never be used UNTIL that time comes. If you have DPOA, there should be NO issue cashing in/depositing the bond. Have you tried pushing this up the management chain? They said send it to the Treasury? Just what do they think someone there can do? They do not know you, cannot see you at the time of receipt and would likely need a mountain of paperwork to process this (and many months!) I would push back on the bank (if you still have access to the attorney who set up the DPOA, he/she might be able to *prod* the bank.)

Thankfully well before our mother started down the dementia road she added all three of us to her accounts at the Credit Union. She had another account at a bank, closer to her condo, for easier access to cash. She set up her SS to be deposited there. SS was of NO HELP when attempting to transfer the SS deposit to the CU. I took mom to the bank, where ONLY SHE was on the account, with DPOA paperwork, and withdrew a big chunk via check to then deposit into the CU. I don't recall if she signed or not, but still... Most of the time I did the talking and she rummaged through her wallet. I then took her to the CU, with DPOA paperwork, deposited the check, and pointed them to paperwork THEY could process to have the SS deposit switched. Once again, mom just rifled through her wallet, paying no attention whatsoever. I also changed her address to mine (in her case is was best to make all paperwork disappear), requested an ATM card for her AND one for me, though I ended up never giving her card to her as it was a dangerous thing to do... Generally I do not use even my own ATM cards for anything other than an occasional withdrawal, not for purchases - those are *really* dangerous if compromised!

Once that happened, I waited for the next SS deposit, and when it showed up at the CU, I closed the bank account and took the remaining funds via check to the CU. NO ONE questioned anything. I believe mom signed the checks before depositing, but anyone with a few working brain cells could tell she was not really there - she was not that bad off at that time, still living at home, but she was not paying any attention at all to what we were doing.

One more note, which I have posted elsewhere:

Any federal government entity will NOT honor the DPOA. They all have their own forms, which is STUPID if the person is already incompetent (recall the squiggly S signature in the other post), HOWEVER, I did finally find information that makes some sense - every state has its own rules about DPOA, and the FEDs do not want to deal with that. So far I made headway with the federal pension (needed the right magic words from her doctor in a letter, took multiple attempts), and the VA (processed that form first so that they work with ME once I submit the actual paperwork). Still to go: the IRS and SS - both have their own form as well. IRS and SS (any FED institution) mail CANNOT be forwarded, so if we rent or sell mom's condo, her IRS/SS paperwork would go to some stranger!!! Answer for that Dontask4handout????? Oh sure, let that stranger have access to mom's info, no prob... DPOA should be enough, since it IS a LEGAL document, approved by the person when they WERE in their right mind... So, given that this is a Federal Government Bond, you are in that "gray area". I still think that if you have the right paperwork (DPOA) and just want to deposit it, THE BANK should do it.
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POAs and Banks not honoring them cracks me up. Its OK if two people have a joint account and one cleans the account out but we can't honor a POA.

You can't be an executor unless the person has died and ur named in the will as such.
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So, my question is, when that's money is sitting there and nobody can access it, then what? Assuming that POAs are self-serving and Banks are all good is foolish assumption. When they'll take any "mark" as a legal signature because of their ridiculous requirements, that's absurd because any person can bring an elder in to sign "X" and withdraw their money. The Bank is likely to be liable if there's fraud in that case because that is NOT due diligence & it's a lame attempt at trying to cover their asses because first of all, they can't claim to "know" the person was competent when the elder "signed" the document. At least if a POA does something underhanded, they have someone to go after. Stupid.
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I'm sorry Dontask4handout, but that is the whole point of appointing a POA, having someone who has the absolute authority to act on your behalf in all financial matters. If there is  no one in your family or among your acquaintances who is trustworthy then there are professionals who can perform the task, for a fee of course.
I should add, when I was selling my mother's property and moving around large sums the bank did ask for a newly notarized copy of mom's POA which was understandably prudent.
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Banks are trained to have certain protocol in place in case of elder financial abuse. My question is why doesn't she have a guardian? This specific type of situation sounds very familiar because POA can actually end up making a wrong move and gaining from the elder. You said the bank wouldn't cash the savings bond, good for them! They're actually doing their job bye protecting their own customers because it's situations like yours where elders are very often taken advantage of, my bio dad was one of them. It's usually the elders who need memory care facilities who are most vulnerable and situations just like you're describing that the banks are protecting their customers from. If you have unlimited powers as POA, I pity anyone under your care because it's people like your mom who are most vulnerable to elder financial abuse, and the bank was just doing their job.

To that bank I must say, good for you! Keep on protecting your elderly customers because without you, where would our elders be?
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I have also had problems getting a bank to honor my dad's POA. They insisted that he sign their forms. I tried to explain that my dad has dementia and he wouldn't know what he was signing if I brought him into the bank. They still wouldn't except the POA prepared by his attorney (small town, everyone knows my dad and the attorney, big bank bought out local community bank). I decided to be a bit dramatic, so I carried my dad, in wheelchair, into the bank. i couldn't believe it, but they allowed him to sign their form with just a mark - looked like a sideways 'S'. He had no understanding of what he was signing and I made a point of that in front of several bank employees by asking him questions about it. Two customers who witnessed it were shaking their heads. Could an unscrupulous caregiver wheel an elderly person into the bank and take advantage? I guess this is another reason to file for Guardianship and/or Conservatorship.
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I have also had problems getting a bank to honor my dad's POA. They insisted that he sign their forms. I tried to explain that my dad has dementia and he wouldn't know what he was signing if I brought him into the bank. They still wouldn't except the POA prepared by his attorney (small town, everyone knows my dad and the attorney, big bank bought out local community bank). I decided to be a bit dramatic, so I carried my dad, in wheelchair, into the bank. i couldn't believe it, but they allowed him to sign their form with just a mark - looked like a sideways 'S'. He had no understanding of what he was signing and I made a point of that in front of several bank employees by asking him questions about it. Two customers who witnessed it were shaking their heads. Could an unscrupulous caregiver wheel an elderly person into the bank and take advantage? I guess this is another reason to file for Guardianship and/or Conservatorship.
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