My father has dementia and myself and 3 siblings all have POA for him. The bank will not accept it. Any suggestions?

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I went to his bank to have the POA put on file but the bank says only one person can be POA so we have to have a lawyer create a new POA with only one of us listed. This seems unreasonable. I think my father is no longer competent enough to sign another POA not to mention the expense to pay an attorney to redo it. Thoughts?

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I work in the legal department of a financial services company and review and advise on POAs several times a day. We follow the terms of the POA. It's their preference and is a legal instruction to the rest of us relying upon it. If there are multiple POAs, we record that and follow the terms. But banks? I've had nothing but trouble on a personal level with POAs and hear from many families as to the issues they have with banks and their POAs.

Frankly, for myself, I've had to push back against banks, usually by sending a letter outlining the law in that state as to their refusal to accept a POA or imposing hoops to jump through and the penalties associated if they continue to refuse and force me to go to court to get them to accept the POA. And I'm the primary POA - it shouldn't be that hard! It's a big pile of "ugh" all the way around. I can't imagine what others must go through as most people don't regularly review POA laws for all states and territories and know what they can do to get the POA recorded.

All that aside, I'm glad you are going to take this matter back to the attorney for assistance. He/she should be able to help get it recorded with the bank, I would hope!

Best of luck, and I hope you'll come back and update us!
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Reply to RebeccaCP
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The bank can put in place whatever processes it likes, but it cannot dictate the legalities of power of attorney.

Often, when a person decides to complicate matters in this way - by having more than one person acting for him - it is for the sound practical reason that he wants two pairs of eyes on what is going on. So for the bank loftily to dictate that they'll only accept a single agent is nonsense. Your father is their client, his instructions stand, and if they wish to retain his account they will need to adapt to his requirements. You have the legal power to act for him.

As Barb says, get in there and sort them out.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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It seems kind of weird to me that an attorney went along with 4 kids as POA situation. I've presented my Dad's POA at several banks now and I'm not surprised they are balking at 4 different people being listed. Banks definitely have their own particular hoops that they want you to go through. Seems like the attorney should have to help you fix this situation for free.
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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Good plan! The atty will be able to direct you to a better situation. My husband works in financial services and says their legal dept is ridiculously difficult. They've been sued too many times by unhappy heirs.
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Reply to surprise
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I appreciate it. All four of us have equal precedence on the POA. I've been to the bank and requested I be listed as POA on my father's accounts. I then spent hours there in person and on the phone while being told by the branch manager that we all need to sign a signature card on the same day even though we are in separate states. It took me weeks to coordinate a day for each of us to be able to go to banks near where we live only to find out that the bank's legal dept had not yet reviewed the docs. In the end, I was told that they will not allow all four of us to be POA and that my only option is to have another legal document drawn up that gives POA to only one person. I'm so livid I want nothing more than to close all of my Dad's accounts and move to another bank. I'm going to call the atty that created the POA originally and see what he says.
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Reply to TheOnlyGirl
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It may depend on the wording appointing the proxys. Does the POA give each of them authority to act independently, or do they need to act in concert? If the latter, that would be a concern for the bank b/c there can be issues on which they don't all agree.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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TheOnlyGirl, my experiences are 1) that having a POA on file at a bank is often unnecessary because, as cwillie said, most things can be done on-line, and 2) that POA acceptance varies by bank and by state. After I moved my dad to my state, my bank allowed me to set up new accounts for him using a POA that listed me "and/or" any of three siblings as POA agents. I had been a customer of this federally-chartered bank for many years and did not have to bring my dad to it to have him sign anything. The POA I used originated years earlier from an out-of-state nursing home's 1-page standard Durable POA format. If you really do need a POA on file and don't want to search for a different bank that will accept your current POA, then, as BarbBrooklyn said, if your dad's bank has a standard POA format, have him sign one of those in the presence of a notary. The competency standard for signing a POA is different than for other purposes. And, as gladimhere said, if the current POA was done by an attorney, ask that attorney for clarification.
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Reply to bicycler
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Often banks have their own forms to fill out in place of a POA, I've read that some banks are really difficult to deal with - the law may be on your side but the banks try to make their own law and fighting them on it is difficult. Would they allow you to list just one person as primary regardless of how the document is worded? Once you have your foot in the door it is a simple matter to conduct all your business on line and for POAs to share banking info among themselves (in fact you may be able to accomplish this without using POA at all). Others on the forum have even moved accounts to a bank that is more user friendly.
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Reply to cwillie
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This would be very difficult to have four POA's very confusing for the bank. Does the POA actually name four as primary POA? Or is a successor list, if Mary cannot act then it is Steve, if Steve cannot act then it is Abby, etc. If the bank wants one would other three agree on who is primary, the one to deal with bank business. The things parents will do to not hurt children's feelings. You may also check with the attorney on how this was to be handled.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Make sure you uderstand what the bank is telling you.

Are they saying that THE BANK can only have one person on file as POA? That would make sense. Or are they saying that they need their own POA form completed and witnessed? That is pretty common these days.

Go in person and speak with a bank officer. Find out if bringing your dad in will suffice for them to get the document they want.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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