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Power Of Attorney Question
Old 12-01-2010, 07:09 AM   #1
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Power Of Attorney Question

I have a question about Power Of Attorney (POA), and was hoping someone who has experienced this can help.
I recently became the POA for each of my parents, going through a lawyer and the whole nine yards. Itís called a General Power Of Attorney. Iím now trying to get permission to move my parentsí investments around, or redeem them, if need be. I assumed that the POA route was the simplest way to do this. So far, I have contacted two mutual fund companies and told them I was POA and wanted to have all the permissions I need to access their account. In both cases, they told me the POA is not acceptable and that I need to submit Agent Authorization Forms (signed by my parents) and a notarized certification of the POA. This can all be done, but isnít this what the POA is for? Why do I have to provide a notarized certification for a document that already has a Notary Seal? What can I do to avoid running through hoops for each investment company they deal with? Would it be worth modifying the POA?
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:33 AM   #2
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Yeah, it should work but people run into this all the time. There are a couple of things you can do. One is what you plan and have your parents sign the mutual fund companies' forms. (You might want them to do the IRS and state forms of power of attorney at the same time if you are going to be filing their taxes). You other option is to sign the forms yourself as attorney in fact for your parents, under the power of your general power of attorney. You may have to do this at some point down the road if they become incompetent. But as they are still competent I would go the easy route and have them sign.

Keep in mind we don't give legal advice here, I am just passing on experience and what others have done in these situations.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:10 AM   #3
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My experience is exactly like yours.........I've had trouble every single time...many times........so I've gone the route Martha suggested and filled out their forms. Seems to be a well-kept secret that the forms aren't a magic key.........though I think you do need them as well as the agent authorization so maybe they're half a key. I think I read in a Nolo book that banks,etc. are legally supposed to accept them.....I guess nobody told the banks,etc. that.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
My experience is exactly like yours.........I've had trouble every single time...many times........so I've gone the route Martha suggested and filled out their forms. Seems to be a well-kept secret that the forms aren't a magic key.........though I think you do need them as well as the agent authorization so maybe they're half a key. I think I read in a Nolo book that banks,etc. are legally supposed to accept them.....I guess nobody told the banks,etc. that.

I think if push came to shove the bank would accept them... but they have their own form and do not what to change...


When I worked at bank I remember a story our cashier told about someone coming in with a check made out to 'Cash'.... the tellers will say 'we need ID and you have to sign the back of the check'.... that is BS... the check is not make out to the person... but cash... you do not have to provide any ID... the guy said 'get your cashier'.... the teller was told to cash the check as all the legal requiremets were met... no sig, no ID... I do think they contacted the account holder to check, but am not sure of that...
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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I experienced the same thing using a POA for my mom. Just finished going through a long 3 year lawsuit. One thing I can tell you is the POA goes both ways, to help the person(s) and also can be used against you in the case of a lawsuit. The claim made was the POA is held to "a higher standard". Just make sure you keep ALL paperwork on any transactions and reasons for your use of the POA. I had to prove over 2.5 years worth of financial transactions for any monetary movement, POA or otherwise. I would recommend using the POA only as a last resort, if a financial institution has their own form, use theirs, it has the highest level of authority instead of the POA. Make sure all your siblings/relatives are on board with you being the POA, that's where the lawsuit came from in my case. Every financial institution's attitude toward the use of POA was never positive in my experience. I never had a bank refuse the POA, only brokerage/mutual fund/insurance/title companies.
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