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Mom has DPOA with me and brother named "co-agents" - its "and" not "either/or"; nor naming one as primary, etc. Mom has been declared by doctors incompetent (finally!) with dementia and now must move from home (living in unsafe conditions per APS) and into memory care.


We found memory care bed (nice place) for mom. I went to bank for them to honor DPOA with dr. note. My brother lives in CA (retired); I live in NC. My brother agreed to go to his local Wells Fargo and I would go to my local Wells Fargo and simoultaneously we would all meet with Wells Fargo bankers with our IDs and sign off such that my brother and I could be added to Moms account so we can pay bills, residential care, etc. (We are already named on account as beneficiaries - so mom's intent was that we should handle her affairs).


Wells Fargo legal dept reviewed and stated that the DPOA is worthless, they won't accept unless my brother and I are in the same place (physical present!) at the same time for every transaction. The bank mgr was flabbergasted; I'm devastated.


We have been praying, hoping to get mom into needed residential care for 5 yrs. She would never add me or brother to her "checking" because she kept insisting that we had DPOA and/or she would do so when she needed.


Well here we are. APS has been working with me for a year and trying to avoid conservatorship and guardianship (because can take a long time) and since we had DPOA (which APS reviewed) hoped to avoid guardianship.


I'm at a loss. Any advice? I don't want to drag out. I don't want conservatorship nor guardianship and neither does brother. At this point we are ready to just throw in the towel and tell APS to do whatever but leave the both of us out.


It is a shame, because she and my dad thought and intended that estate be all buttoned up such that care would be available for either of them and we wouldn't have to go to court or probate in the end. (Dad is deceased).


Mom's attorney (when drew up docs, multi times I might add over the last 8 yrs) was very aware that both my brother and I lived on different coasts and would never be in the same city as mom. I feel like he mislead mom on advising her.


Any advice on where to go from here that won't cost thousands and take weeks or longer?

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Just FYI as a follow up.
After 16+ hours spent over the last month with several WF branches -- it was a total nightmare and they froze the account. Now we can't write checks, do on-line banking, even view the accounts on-line at all nor can the branches share any information with us. I was told specifically by WF corporate lawyers and branch mgr that "you now can't access the money until your mother's death at which point you and your brother are the beneficieries".

The affidavit was a no-go with the bank. They insisted on new DPOA (impossible since mom is incapacitated) or suggested that brother and I go to court and get guardianship; or hire a lawyer. We refused and will not spend another dime on a lawyer out of our pocket to sue for guardianship or access to the account when they should accept DPOA we have.

I tried to compromise and ask if they would just accept a direct debit from the memory care (memory care facility would write letter that mom was a resident, etc.) and my brother and I could still be locked out -- but begged them to just authorize payments to memory care. WF refused.

In the midst of all the turmoil of getting mom settled, getting house readied for sale and paying all her back bills ($6000+) it has been ridiculous. I have absolutely nothing good to say about WF and would never bank with them ever.

I will forwarn others: Please, if you have a WF account or BOA - ask them if they have special POAs specific that they accept and get a copy so you and your attorney can get signed and on file at the bank. You can have your own and then the one that is specific to the bank.

Thank god mom has other accounts at other banks to get us thru and her house is sold and about to go to settlement at which time - that money will go into another bank account.

But this could've been horrible if WF had been her only asset and we had need that $ to keep her in memory care.
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Well, you cannot be added to the accounts as joint owners, no POA can do that legally. All you can do is be added as signers on her accounts.
Your work-around on this is to establish online access and pay her bills using online paying system. All banks seem to give POA's a hard time, but they are much more cooperative when there is a court order for Guardianship. Consider going that route.
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I am so sorry for the roadblocks you and your brother are hitting with Wells Fargo, Sunflo. You are not alone. I suggest you go back to your mom's lawyer. There must be a way. I wouldn't give up. It may be worth a visit to CA or your brother to come visit you and get this done. You may be able to switch banks when things are settled, depending on the rules.
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Wells are being azzwipes. I'd make this a big PR nightmare for them. With what all wells has recently dealt with, they won't want more.

Your local TV station has a "consumer affairs" reporter. Contact them with the details and the timeline on this clusterF. Also tell your person at APS you are going on-air with the story and give permission for the reporter to contact APS. APS has a PR person who is camera ready. The station will want you both on camera, ideally at the same time (so no "we cannot discuss" comment from APS).

Find a nice 8x10 of mom too. If there also one with you & bro from the 1960's as well even better! So camera can do a ECU on it on air. (And remember to get your hair done if you can before. Wear solids; no patterns or stripes.) After the interview, you forward the story (via an email link on the stations website) to every newspaper, AARP, any senior newsletter, your elected officials, etc. This site.
This is a progress story that has legs with a obvious bad guy. Reporters dream.

If you can somehow mention all this has cost mom all sorts of distress plus cost you and bro both time & money, and that anyone coukd find thrmskeves or an aging parent in your situation, that will be icing on all this.

Wells will find an error was made.......
If they still won't budge, your atty contacts another atty on a suit (you, bro, the original atty) against Wells and it goes forward even if mom becomes a ward of the state.
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Time to go back to go your local Elder Law Attorney and ask what can be done. Glad you found out about this now instead of later down the road.
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Hi Sunflo,

I'm so sorry you and your brother are going through this. Banks and other financial institutions often do not recognize POA documents. Here is an excerpt from the article "Make Sure You Are an Authorized Representative for Your Loved One"
(https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Make-Sure-You-Are-an-Authorized-Representative-for-Your-Loved-One-202376.htm):

"Many third parties (like banks) are hesitant to accept financial POA documents because they may be liable for any wrongdoing that might ensue if it turns out to be illegitimate. They typically need some time to ensure the validity of the document and may wish to consult with the attorney who prepared it. In some cases, the third party may also need you to complete an affidavit (a sworn written statement) that states you are acting legally, which will relieve them of any liability issues. As long as you are acting in the best interest of the person you are representing (the principal) and within your granted authority, there should be no problems other than the slow and bureaucratic nature of this process."

Have you consulted Mom's attorney on this matter? In some cases, a phone call, visit, or strongly worded letter from a lawyer can help motivate the bank to work with you.

I'm sure other members will chime in with some additional insights.

In the meantime, similar questions have been posed on the forum over the years, so perhaps you can find some answers here:

The bank will not acknowledge my POA. What can I do?
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/bank-will-not-acknowledge-my-power-of-attorney-192811.htm

I have POA for my Mom, but banks are not accepting my legal forms. Any advice?
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/have-power-of-attorney-banks-not-accepting-legal-forms-174636.htm?orderBy=recent&page=2

Hang in there!

-AgingCareEditor
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