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There are many different types of POA out there, and many different bank policies, and its difficult to generalize about what can happen with various combinations of documents. But in my experience I have never found my bank, or my rerelatives (that work at nationwide financial institutions) will simply allow a total clean-out of an entire account, especially when there is a joint owner. My point is that good fin inst's do move very slowly and take care to verify the identity & authenticity of someone claiming to be a POA. If a bank is not able to provide this basic level of security, they are begging for a bunch of lawsuits. Go google "POA bank accounts" or variations of that and read all the Real Life problems that have happened, on all sides-- too lenient, and too strict. The best practice (and I'm not a lawyer) would seem to be, have a POA with limitations (agent cannot make gifts to themselves of the principal assets) and require periodic accountings to principal as well as others such as family and perhaps the family attorney;a lso when you set up the POA go over to all the various financial inst's and get the signatures taken right away, make sure all of these institutions have a clear documentation of exaclty who the POA is (they will take a copy of your driver's license and another form of ID). These types of proactive housekeeping just seems like common sense to me.
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A POA that has authority over financial matters can do as the POA pleases, in all states, and can change names on bank accounts, withdraw and spend all assets, sell assets including real estate, and enter into binding agreements and debts. This is why it is SO IMPORTANT for the selection of the POA to made with due diligence and that limitations be expressly included in the POA documentation.
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I guess it varies from state to state, bank to bank, but the thing is, the OP's mom has *granted POA to step-father. There's no reason to think she *wouldn't sign bank forms, too, if required, since the reason to have POA is to allow someone to act on your behalf. Original Poster, I would strongly recommend taking your portion of the money out of thr joint account. Remain owner so that you can both monitor transactions and have the authority to report it if you see that your mom's money is being stolen. Being an owner will carry more weight if you need to make a complaint or take legal action. I'm so sorry you're in the position of having to worry like this. Just keep monitoring the account. Online access makes this easy. Good luck to you.
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I did a google of bank of america and durable POA and a case involving the BOA in Florida came up over this very issue where they denied the acceptance of a durable POA and they were found liable for doing so back in 2009.
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Well in NC the rules aren't that tight and that was with Wachovia at that time who since have been bought by Wells-Fargo.
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And I have been appointed POA for both my parents, and have been to all their various financial inst's, and they ALL had a completley different set of forms for me AND both parents to sign. The POA form (original) was NOT sufficient. Additonally I was told, at one place, it was really good we were all there together, since they had another client from far out of state who was his dad's POA, but they could not and would not help him one iota on his dad's accounts as he was not able to come in, in person, with his dad. That was USBank.
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But, when people have gone to bank (major, nation-wide bank) with just the POA document (the original), without the person who owns the accounts, they are rountinely asked to sign additonal documentation and the account owner ALSO has to sign these papers. It is the bank's "own forms". If you search this website you will read where other people have encountered same set of safeguards, put in place by banks (and other financial inst's) specifically to protect against an unauthorized person wielding this powerful document. And my relatives who work in fin inst's also tell me the same. Not sure where you are experiencing a looser set of rules, but I would rather do business with fin inst's that double, triple and quadruple check the validity of mere POA documents. Yes, very powerful, and therefore, very suspicious.
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Samara, yes, I am saying that. Look up what power of attorney means. It's giving someone else the power to act on your behalf as pertains to financial matters. My POA document lists roughly 11 different "matters" that I can act on, on behalf of my mother, including checking accounts and safe deposit boxes. When you give someone power of attorney, that person can access your accounts exactly as you would. I have made deposits and withdrawals for my mom with this document. I can't say it strongly enough. POA is a powerful and potentially dangerous document. POA is not proof of account ownership. The "attorney in fact" does NOT become an account owner, but the POA document DOES authorize the attorney in fact (person granted POA) to act on behalf of the account owner who had granted that power. This is really helpful for people who are too ill to handle their own affairs.
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moms investments are in her name and mine either it saids she and he not she or he. with the poa are her checking acct since she can't functional i use her checking acct for her bills, such as paying for the people who take care of her. that way if ever challenged in court none of her $ is used by me for boats,trips, cars etc. its only used for care totally and the bank here honor it totally.
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Christine73, I'm really surprised to read your comment, are you saying that your POA document, separate from the Bank's Own Documents, are being accepted as proof of account ownership, with complete account privileges? My brother works at a major bank, and a cousin at a smaller credit union, and they both tell me otherwise. Banks, as well as credit unions, and investment firms, all are extremely careful with customer's monies, and that's a good thing. Otherwise anyone could walk in with forged POA documents and "clean out" anyone's account.
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I am my mother's POA and I can absolutely clean out her account. It sounds like you are worried about this. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to go to the bank where you have the joint account and speak to the manager abiut what she or he would allow or disallow as far as the POA making withdrawals. Im better the bank manager will cofirm what I said.
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Logging in to follow, interesting thread
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if u and the parent sign papers before her/his health goes bad then u have no problems as a P O A. always check with the bank first, and any financial adviser where she/he has stock as will..
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Banks don't automatically recognize POA documents, even if they are drawn up by a lawyer. Banks and other financial institutions do specifically require a whole nuther set of documents be signed--and they must be signed by the original account holder, at their express request and initiative, and then by the POA. so any ideas that others may have written here as to a POA being able to go clean out someone's account, it is simply not that easy. And that is a very good thing because there are not a few forged POA documents out there. A good financial institution moves very slowly on these things, to make sure everything is actually the way the account holder desires.
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Yep, I am betting Christine73 is correct. I learned my lesson.
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Yes. POA can do anything the person giving the power can do. So if your mom can clear out the account without your knowledge or permission, so can he.
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I agree with Ferris. The easiest thing is to open a new account in your name only and transfer the funds if you have any doubts as to the step father's integrity.
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i'm also poa with my mom. i have certain rights of her funds but i can't go out and buy a boat with or a new car.if it was a joint checking act with my name or so and so and my name then i could take $ out. i use her $ to pay her expenses only
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No way can he get it if his name isn't on it I'd think! Just to be safe go ahead and get the money and put in your name with someone in your family as joint account! If her ss check out retirement check goes into it monthly and you don't want to completely close it then withdraw monthly to pay her bills with the joint account you set up!
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My brother has durable POA for our mother and all he had to do was show up at the bank with the document in hand and his name was put on the account immediately with no questions.
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First off - what state do you live in?
Second - what kind of POA does he have?
Third - is the joint account currently an AND or an OR (do both of you have to sign or only one of you)

Go to the bank and find out. Let me share a little something with you.
My spouse had a joint account with my MIL. the MIL was NOT married but lived with a man for many years. Most people THOUGHT they were married. MIL passed away late last year - we had not been monitoring the joint account as it would have opened a can of worms for a host of reasons. After she died, we found out on one day MIL did her normal banking - she ran like clockwork. The next day she woke up and had a need to transfer $20,000 to the man she was living with, BUT she was "too ill" to go into the bank to make the largest transaction of her life. When the man was asked about the money, he went ballastic and said he didn't even know she had "given him the money until he got his bank statement the next month, that we'd have to talk to the teller who did the transaction". This couple had not shared finances in more than a decade. When the teller was asked about the transaction she said "I did it because she was known to me, she wasn't well enough to come that day". There is no recording of the phone call. The bank told us to get a lawyer and/or file charges against him because they didn't have to tell us anything else. So we did file a police report -- not just for this but because there were check forgeries while she was dying for a rental property she owned -- her rental income stopped going into her normal account and suddenly started going into this other account. The police did investigate and was told - MIL was added to a DORMANT account the man owned at the time of the $20,000 transaction. We have been asking for months to see the signature card that would have put her on his account since he claims he had no knowledge of the transaction. Because you would think that financial institutions cannot just add someone to someone elses account without the account owners permission -- but you know, when the teller knows you, or thinks they know what your MIL's relationship with the man is, they can do whatever they want to be "Helpful". The fraud department at the bank (which is really a credit union), actually told my spouse - you don't know what your mother's relationship with the man was. HA! Well let's see, we know he was telling us not to visit and deleting emails from her account - a neighbor password protected her device to put a stop to him doing that. We know she got 100 Oxycontin and 2 days later got another 100 (shame on CVS for not redflagging that!). We know he was looking at moving into an assisted living center and her biggest fear is she'd have to go to a nursing home.. Oh....and have I mentioned her death certificate says she died of end stage dementia. Sooo....there are federal regulating bodies that are suppose to help, so a complaint was filed with the one who regulates credit unions. Did you know that they only handle EFT problems -- and because MIL didn't call the 800# and use a PIN number it isn't their area, that it would be a state regulatory body? IF your mother has a joint account with you thinking she was protecting her assets from HIM she could be sadly mistaken. You can't remove her name from that joint account without a death certificate, but if you are an OR on the account you can move all the money into an account under your name and then pay whatever bills she usually pays out of her account from it. We have no idea where all this will go next -- I can tell you it feels like they make the "process" so exhausting that you just want to walk away. If anyone had told us this story before we lived it ourselves, we wouldn't have believed it, because it all supposedly started with a "nice teller" thinking she was doing a long time customer a favor. And the teller supposedly did it this way so my MIL nor the man would have to pay "federal gift tax" on the money because in 2013 the allowed amount was $14,000. Sadly the teller NEVER considered the reason MIL didn't go into the bank and do this xfer face to face is she felt threatened, and was doing what she thought would prevent her from going to a nursing home.
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As joint account owner, I would open an account in my name only, then transfer all the funds from the account with your mother on it into your new account. Will your mother okay this or is she incapacitated? A person with a POA has the right to act in place of the person named and your father can access her/your account.
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Want to follow this question
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Is your mom mentally incapacitated?

Assuming you are talking about financial POA and not Medical POA, then yes, he can sign checks on her behalf. He would sign them as John Doe, Power of Attorney for Jane Doe.

Since you apparently don't trust him, you might consider moving some of those funds into a different account - one in your name only. Dribble money back in as necessary and keep your own funds out of that account.
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I have POA over my sister, but I also am joint on her bank account!
I & my sister went to the bank together when she was first diagnosed
with early Alzheimer!I also brought with me POA Do uments say I was POA over her Health .She is a widow but has inlaw "out- law" relatives who already have spent most of her savings.Unless she is already joint with her husband He should not be able to touch her account.Make an appointment with
someone at the bank to verify if her Husband is joint or not .
you can be POA over health but not her finances.Can be tricky?Talk to a financial advisor at the bank & explain your question to him.Bring your legal papers saying you are joint
on her account? You will get a straight answer from the Bank.
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Wstutts, you are talking about $POA, and not medical only, right?

I'd have the same red flag thought you are having. In the old days I had a "joint savings account" with my Mom. I was saving for a car, and a minor. It required BOTH our signatures to take anything out of it. So I grew up thinking that was how all joint savings accounts worked. I was wrong. I left a bunch of $ sitting in a joint savings with DH. Thought it would take both of us making a decision and signing to move $ from it. He spent nearly all of it without saying a word to me over the course of a year, (said it went on bills, back when he handled the $).

So if your Stepdad has POA of this account, I'd think that means he'd have access without your permission. My experience reminded me of a household joint checking account, "either or" type situation. I'd drop by the bank and clarify, or call them if you don't have time to drop in, talk to your and your Mom's Personal Banker, before it's too late.
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Limited liability corporation, I believe.
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Does anyone know what an LLC is? There was one on property we are to inheirent from my aunt and uncle. It is for 500,000. My realtor nor attorney say they have never seen this in a living trust. I asked my uncle but did not get a straight answer (some dementia 89) my aunt passed 4 years ago. HELP
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If your mom's name is on the account a POA get access to the account.
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No, her husband cannot use his POA to clean out the joint account that you have with your mother unless his name is on the account also as a joint owner. If his name is not on the account as a joint owner, then you need to find a lawyer and report this illegal action.
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