POAs may not be that powerful

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tadamsmar
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POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 pm

Banks and brokerages may refuse a POA.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0

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dm200
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 pm
Banks and brokerages may refuse a POA.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0
1. This article is from 2016

2. In many states (including my state of Virginia), financial institutions (banks and credit unions, for example) may not refuse to honor a PoA because it is too old, or not on the bank or credit union's own forms. They may require some degree of authentication. In such states (including Virginia) PoAs are assumed to be "durable" unless specifically stated as "non-durable".

yes - this could be a concern -- BUT check (and insist on) applicable state law.

Note also - (this is very common misunderstanding) a PoA terminates upon the death of the grantor. So, a PoA cannot be used at all if the grantor is deceased.

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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:25 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 pm
Banks and brokerages may refuse a POA.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0
2. In many states (including my state of Virginia), financial institutions (banks and credit unions, for example) may not refuse to honor a PoA because it is too old, or not on the bank or credit union's own forms. They may require some degree of authentication. In such states (including Virginia) PoAs are assumed to be "durable" unless specifically stated as "non-durable".

yes - this could be a concern -- BUT check (and insist on) applicable state law.
"Even in states where statutes require banks to accept a durable power of attorney, or waive their liability when they do accept it, elder-law attorneys have seen some balk."

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:32 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 pm
Banks and brokerages may refuse a POA.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0
1. This article is from 2016

2. In many states (including my state of Virginia), financial institutions (banks and credit unions, for example) may not refuse to honor a PoA because it is too old, or not on the bank or credit union's own forms. They may require some degree of authentication. In such states (including Virginia) PoAs are assumed to be "durable" unless specifically stated as "non-durable".

yes - this could be a concern -- BUT check (and insist on) applicable state law.

Note also - (this is very common misunderstanding) a PoA terminates upon the death of the grantor. So, a PoA cannot be used at all if the grantor is deceased.
Vanguard is in PA, and thus is legally required to accept a valid PoA that is other than on their own form.

But alas, Vanguard absolutely refuses

(And for those not clear, for 403b accounts, NOT everything can be done with Vanguard's own "agent authorization" substitutes. An "agent" cannot even see that the person's 403b account exists, although an IRA account is fully shown.

RM
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dm200
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:32 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 pm
Banks and brokerages may refuse a POA.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0
1. This article is from 2016
2. In many states (including my state of Virginia), financial institutions (banks and credit unions, for example) may not refuse to honor a PoA because it is too old, or not on the bank or credit union's own forms. They may require some degree of authentication. In such states (including Virginia) PoAs are assumed to be "durable" unless specifically stated as "non-durable".
yes - this could be a concern -- BUT check (and insist on) applicable state law.
Note also - (this is very common misunderstanding) a PoA terminates upon the death of the grantor. So, a PoA cannot be used at all if the grantor is deceased.
Vanguard is in PA, and thus is legally required to accept a valid PoA that is other than on their own form.
But alas, Vanguard absolutely refuses

(And for those not clear, for 403b accounts, NOT everything can be done with Vanguard's own "agent authorization" substitutes. An "agent" cannot even see that the person's 403b account exists, although an IRA account is fully shown.

RM
How does Vanguard get away with this - if it is against law/regulations? [I have no knowledge of the applicable law/regulations]

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:51 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:32 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:12 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 pm
Banks and brokerages may refuse a POA.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0
1. This article is from 2016
2. In many states (including my state of Virginia), financial institutions (banks and credit unions, for example) may not refuse to honor a PoA because it is too old, or not on the bank or credit union's own forms. They may require some degree of authentication. In such states (including Virginia) PoAs are assumed to be "durable" unless specifically stated as "non-durable".
yes - this could be a concern -- BUT check (and insist on) applicable state law.
Note also - (this is very common misunderstanding) a PoA terminates upon the death of the grantor. So, a PoA cannot be used at all if the grantor is deceased.
Vanguard is in PA, and thus is legally required to accept a valid PoA that is other than on their own form.
But alas, Vanguard absolutely refuses

(And for those not clear, for 403b accounts, NOT everything can be done with Vanguard's own "agent authorization" substitutes. An "agent" cannot even see that the person's 403b account exists, although an IRA account is fully shown.

RM
How does Vanguard get away with this - if it is against law/regulations? [I have no knowledge of the applicable law/regulations]

"Because they can".

We are in discussions with the PA AG's office about this.

Another BH member (no longer active) had legal action started with Vanguard about this, but I think the very situation one would need the REAL PoA got in the way, and other things became far more important.
(We had been waiting to see how their legal action proceeded, hence our late start.)

RM
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dm200
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:54 pm

"Because they can".

We are in discussions with the PA AG's office about this.

Another BH member (no longer active) had legal action started with Vanguard about this, but I think the very situation one would need the REAL PoA got in the way, and other things became far more important.
(We had been waiting to see how their legal action proceeded, hence our late start.)

RM
Good...

Please keep us informed about this.

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:00 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:54 pm
"Because they can".

We are in discussions with the PA AG's office about this.

Another BH member (no longer active) had legal action started with Vanguard about this, but I think the very situation one would need the REAL PoA got in the way, and other things became far more important.
(We had been waiting to see how their legal action proceeded, hence our late start.)

RM
Good...

Please keep us informed about this.
The other BH member had attorneys in the family, which was making a huge difference in expenses needed to pursue this legally.
And of course, that is no doubt *precisely* what Vanguard is counting on....

RM
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fourwheelcycle
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by fourwheelcycle » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:03 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:45 pm
How does Vanguard get away with this ?
I have no idea how they can get away with it either. When my then 93 year old father (now 96) asked me to begin managing his finances we tried to present his attorney-prepared, properly signed and witnessed PoA to Vanguard and two other financial institutions. All three institutions declined to honor the PoA and instead asked my father to sign their own equivalent paper forms. Vanguard's is called an Agent Authorization Form. The account holder (my father) indicates their authorization for Limited or Full agent authority to be extended to the agent (me). My father indicated Full Agent Authorization and Vanguard was happy.

As others have noted, doing all this does not let you legally log-in as the person who has given you PoA or full agent privileges. It let's you call on the phone or sign paper requests to make transactions on that person's account and, in my experience, it lets you establish a separate log-in under your own name as an agent for that person's account.

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FIREchief
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by FIREchief » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:13 pm

There is nothing that prevents a person from being proactive with a POA. We supplied copies of our properly executed POA's to our brokerage house as soon as we executed them. They had their legal folks review them. They archived copies, linked to our accounts, and provided feedback that they would be acceptable in the event of our incapacitation. That doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, but it is probably about the best a person can do. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:17 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:13 pm
There is nothing that prevents a person from being proactive with a POA. We supplied copies of our properly executed POA's to our brokerage house as soon as we executed them. They had their legal folks review them. They archived copies, linked to our accounts, and provided feedback that they would be acceptable in the event of our incapacitation. That doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, but it is probably about the best a person can do. 8-)
That's great IF the institution/organization accepts it.

Vanguard just says the equivalent of "We don't care, use our "Agent Authorization" forms or nothing".
Full stop.

And with a 403b, an Agent, even with "full" authorization, can NOT see a thing in any 403b account, or even that it exists.
I can see DH's IRA when logged in as me/agent.
DH can, of course, see his IRA *and* his 403b, which is where most of the money is.

So i can't even do a quick check to see if the money is still there... which we like to do frequently.
(We also log each new "high", and do our best over the years to ignore other totals :wink: It works for us!)

RM
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by FIREchief » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:21 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:17 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:13 pm
There is nothing that prevents a person from being proactive with a POA. We supplied copies of our properly executed POA's to our brokerage house as soon as we executed them. They had their legal folks review them. They archived copies, linked to our accounts, and provided feedback that they would be acceptable in the event of our incapacitation. That doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, but it is probably about the best a person can do. 8-)
Vanguard just says the equivalent of "We don't care, use our "Agent Authorization" forms or nothing".

Full stop.
Just one (of several) reasons that I no longer use VG. If an institution is that backwards, then the problem isn't with the POA approach, it's with the custodian.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

2015
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by 2015 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:24 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:17 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:13 pm
There is nothing that prevents a person from being proactive with a POA. We supplied copies of our properly executed POA's to our brokerage house as soon as we executed them. They had their legal folks review them. They archived copies, linked to our accounts, and provided feedback that they would be acceptable in the event of our incapacitation. That doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, but it is probably about the best a person can do. 8-)
That's great IF the institution/organization accepts it.

Vanguard just says the equivalent of "We don't care, use our "Agent Authorization" forms or nothing".
Full stop.

And with a 403b, an Agent, even with "full" authorization, can NOT see a thing in any 403b account, or even that it exists.
I can see DH's IRA when logged in as me/agent.
DH can, of course, see his IRA *and* his 403b, which is where most of the money is.

So i can't even do a quick check to see if the money is still there... which we like to do frequently.
(We also log each new "high", and do our best over the years to ignore other totals :wink: It works for us!)

RM
I'm confused. If VG won't accept a POA, why not just complete VG's Agent Authorization form in advance?

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dm200
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:31 pm

I'm confused. If VG won't accept a POA, why not just complete VG's Agent Authorization form in advance?
Very common situation:

Owner(s) of Vanguard account(s) are getting older and have PoAs done to designate a trusted family member to act on their behalf. Time passes and owner(s) become "incapacitated". The designated individual wants and needs to act for their accounts. Because of their current incapacity, these individual(s) cannot sign the required Vanguard forms.

If you mean years before sign them, and have the designated PoA fill in a current date and send them in, I believe that would be wrong and fraudulent (possibly). In addition, chances are good that vanguard has changed the required form in the intervening years.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:35 pm

Question: Would someone need a POA if they were already an agent?

I'm curious, as if not then I wouldn't have any issues with Vanguard NOT accepting my POA I might give to someone.


Vanguard's Agent Authorization form can be filled out online, if the person being authorized is already a Vanguard customer.

When I gave (and received) agent authorization for wife, it was immediate.

I did the same for BIL, I was already a limited agent for two accounts via the paper form requiring notary public credentials and such, and when we used the agent authorization for another account for me to transact on for him we used the online form. After all the form and email agreements were completed (you can't just make someone an agent, they must accept being your agent) his newest account popped up immediately on my screen that shows all my accounts, all wife's accounts, and now all BIL's accounts.

Easy to do.

Broken Man 1999
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ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:40 pm

2015 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:24 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:17 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:13 pm
There is nothing that prevents a person from being proactive with a POA. We supplied copies of our properly executed POA's to our brokerage house as soon as we executed them. They had their legal folks review them. They archived copies, linked to our accounts, and provided feedback that they would be acceptable in the event of our incapacitation. That doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, but it is probably about the best a person can do. 8-)
That's great IF the institution/organization accepts it.

Vanguard just says the equivalent of "We don't care, use our "Agent Authorization" forms or nothing".
Full stop.

And with a 403b, an Agent, even with "full" authorization, can NOT see a thing in any 403b account, or even that it exists.
I can see DH's IRA when logged in as me/agent.
DH can, of course, see his IRA *and* his 403b, which is where most of the money is.

So i can't even do a quick check to see if the money is still there... which we like to do frequently.
(We also log each new "high", and do our best over the years to ignore other totals :wink: It works for us!)

RM
I'm confused. If VG won't accept a POA, why not just complete VG's Agent Authorization form in advance?
Did you *read* the section above that you quoted?

Vanguard's "Agent Authorization" does NOT work well for 403b accounts, and does NOT ALLOW ANY ONLINE ACCESS, NOT EVEN TO "VIEW".

The only way to get information is to have an agent, once the initial rep goes through several wrong people/sections, read the information to me, line by line, with amounts, dates, etc., whether it is current holdings or past transactions.

I cannot even do a quick check that "approximately the right amount" is IN the account, without going through a lot of aggravation, including reps who mistakenly seem to be unable to find the Agent Authorization in the first place. Calling back, the next person seems to find it. Usually. :annoyed

EDIT: Making this worse, the regular reps can only see the "core" holdings; a different group entirely needs to be reached to discuss the Brokerage section... and back and forth.
I wish this was a joke, but it is not.

RM
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2015
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by 2015 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:58 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:40 pm
2015 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:24 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:17 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:13 pm
There is nothing that prevents a person from being proactive with a POA. We supplied copies of our properly executed POA's to our brokerage house as soon as we executed them. They had their legal folks review them. They archived copies, linked to our accounts, and provided feedback that they would be acceptable in the event of our incapacitation. That doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, but it is probably about the best a person can do. 8-)
That's great IF the institution/organization accepts it.

Vanguard just says the equivalent of "We don't care, use our "Agent Authorization" forms or nothing".
Full stop.

And with a 403b, an Agent, even with "full" authorization, can NOT see a thing in any 403b account, or even that it exists.
I can see DH's IRA when logged in as me/agent.
DH can, of course, see his IRA *and* his 403b, which is where most of the money is.

So i can't even do a quick check to see if the money is still there... which we like to do frequently.
(We also log each new "high", and do our best over the years to ignore other totals :wink: It works for us!)

RM
I'm confused. If VG won't accept a POA, why not just complete VG's Agent Authorization form in advance?
Did you *read* the section above that you quoted?

Vanguard's "Agent Authorization" does NOT work well for 403b accounts, and does NOT ALLOW ANY ONLINE ACCESS, NOT EVEN TO "VIEW".

The only way to get information is to have an agent, once the initial rep goes through several wrong people/sections, read the information to me, line by line, with amounts, dates, etc., whether it is current holdings or past transactions.

I cannot even do a quick check that "approximately the right amount" is IN the account, without going through a lot of aggravation, including reps who mistakenly seem to be unable to find the Agent Authorization in the first place. Calling back, the next person seems to find it. Usually. :annoyed

EDIT: Making this worse, the regular reps can only see the "core" holdings; a different group entirely needs to be reached to discuss the Brokerage section... and back and forth.
I wish this was a joke, but it is not.

RM
No need to get snarky (although I get the frustration)--I was referring to Firechief's post as a solution. Interestingly, this was my experience when transferring non-retirement and retirement (403A or some other such nonsense my institution had set up) simultaneously to Vanguard some time ago. Agents handling the non-retirement and retirement accounts each could not see the other accounts. I recall being told this is the way it's set up, but was probably too frustrated at the time to absorb the reasoning. There were a lot of problems with the transfers and I do recall having to make several calls to get it all straightened out. I do empathize with your situation.

2015
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by 2015 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:59 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:31 pm
I'm confused. If VG won't accept a POA, why not just complete VG's Agent Authorization form in advance?
Very common situation:

Owner(s) of Vanguard account(s) are getting older and have PoAs done to designate a trusted family member to act on their behalf. Time passes and owner(s) become "incapacitated". The designated individual wants and needs to act for their accounts. Because of their current incapacity, these individual(s) cannot sign the required Vanguard forms.

If you mean years before sign them, and have the designated PoA fill in a current date and send them in, I believe that would be wrong and fraudulent (possibly). In addition, chances are good that vanguard has changed the required form in the intervening years.
Good explanation, thanks. Estate planning is beginning to resemble online security: every time I think I've got it all handled something new pops up. :oops:

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:12 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:31 pm
I'm confused. If VG won't accept a POA, why not just complete VG's Agent Authorization form in advance?
Very common situation:

Owner(s) of Vanguard account(s) are getting older and have PoAs done to designate a trusted family member to act on their behalf. Time passes and owner(s) become "incapacitated". The designated individual wants and needs to act for their accounts. Because of their current incapacity, these individual(s) cannot sign the required Vanguard forms.

If you mean years before sign them, and have the designated PoA fill in a current date and send them in, I believe that would be wrong and fraudulent (possibly). In addition, chances are good that vanguard has changed the required form in the intervening years.
Yes, this is really of concern, if one has very carefully set up DPoA's, and made several (or many!) original signature versions (not "copies"), waiting for a time such as they are needed.

And of course, that could be when it is indeed too late for someone to have the comprehension to sign new, "special versions" for one or several specific institutions/organizations/etc.

And this cognitive or physical decline could happen slowly... or all too suddenly... making it impossible to execute a new "version" that is now required.

Then what?
Lots of legal fees, I suppose?

The 403b peculiarity at Vanguard, with the *no* online access for even a "full agent", is a different critter entirely. It cannot be an ERISA requirement, or a lot of other financial institutions would be having compliance problems :confused

RM
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by JoinToday » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:27 pm

On one hand, I understand bank's & financial institutions reluctance to accept outside POA's. It would be a relatively easy way to drain someone else's account. On the other hand, I have had to deal with the frustration of a valid POA, account owner is in poor health, and being unable to take care of financial transactions. I am not sure there is a good solution, and would rather err on the side of safety and deal with the frustrations.

One thing I do not like is that as soon as someone is an authorized agent, they have visibility of all my assets. I would like to have all the agent authorization paperwork in place so when it is needed, the agent authorization can be activated. Hopefully I am 10-20-30 years away from my demise. I don't want my kids to know my assets right now. But it is a different story when I am incapacitated in the future.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:37 pm

JoinToday wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:27 pm
On one hand, I understand bank's & financial institutions reluctance to accept outside POA's. It would be a relatively easy way to drain someone else's account. On the other hand, I have had to deal with the frustration of a valid POA, account owner is in poor health, and being unable to take care of financial transactions. I am not sure there is a good solution, and would rather err on the side of safety and deal with the frustrations.
One thing I do not like is that as soon as someone is an authorized agent, they have visibility of all my assets. I would like to have all the agent authorization paperwork in place so when it is needed, the agent authorization can be activated. Hopefully I am 10-20-30 years away from my demise. I don't want my kids to know my assets right now. But it is a different story when I am incapacitated in the future.
All covered entities (Vanguard, banks, credit unions, brokers, etc.) need to comply fully with applicable laws and regulations.

The regulations (in Virginia at least) allow the entity to do a degree of reasonable verification of the validity of the PoA.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:45 pm

JoinToday wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:27 pm
On one hand, I understand bank's & financial institutions reluctance to accept outside POA's. It would be a relatively easy way to drain someone else's account. On the other hand, I have had to deal with the frustration of a valid POA, account owner is in poor health, and being unable to take care of financial transactions. I am not sure there is a good solution, and would rather err on the side of safety and deal with the frustrations.

One thing I do not like is that as soon as someone is an authorized agent, they have visibility of all my assets. I would like to have all the agent authorization paperwork in place so when it is needed, the agent authorization can be activated. Hopefully I am 10-20-30 years away from my demise. I don't want my kids to know my assets right now. But it is a different story when I am incapacitated in the future.
IF Vanguard allowed outside "regular" PoA's, then what you would want, I think, would be a Springing PoA, one that "springs" into effect upon your incapacity.
One problem with this type of PoA is that it typically requires a physician (or more than one, or also someone else) to make a determination of that "incapacity". That can delay things at best, or at worst, make it problematic to use the SPoA at all.

That's the advantage of the Durable PoA. But that, like Vanguard's "authorizations" could be used immediately, regardless of whether the person with the DPoA (or Agent Authorization) had agreed to "wait".

It's all very tricky, and it all comes into play in critical ways, when life decisions can be at their most difficult.

But Vanguard should not be adding another layer of difficulty, when other similar institutions do not.
OR... when State Law *requires* that they accept a valid outside PoA, they simply should not be refusing, even acknowledging that they are violating the law!

We'd have absolutely no trouble with being asked to deal with some vetting, to make sure the PoA is indeed valid, IF Vanguard wanted to do that.

(We haven't yet encountered anyone else demanding some extra verification, but especially when it's a DPoA done well in advance of need, there would be time to do something reasonable to satisfy them. And their concern would indeed be reasonable.)

RM
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by afan » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:49 pm

When I was helping an elderly person I found that not a single company or financial institution would accept a perfectly valid DPOA. NOT ONE! For things that were in a revocable trust there was no problem. But the power of attorney was completely useless. I have a DPOA for myself but I am not expecting it to do my attorney in fact any good.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by afan » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:51 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:32 pm

Vanguard is in PA, and thus is legally required to accept a valid PoA that is other than on their own form.

RM
Can you cite the PA law, and provide a link?

Thanks
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:52 pm

afan wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:49 pm
When I was helping an elderly person I found that not a single company or financial institution would accept a perfectly valid DPOA. NOT ONE! For things that were in a revocable trust there was no problem. But the power of attorney was completely useless. I have a DPOA for myself but I am not expecting it to do my attorney in fact any good.
Laws and regulations (by state) can change. Check to see if your state is one that has adopted the much more flexible PoA laws/regulations.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by WoodSpinner » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:56 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 pm
Banks and brokerages may refuse a POA.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/10/heal ... .html?_r=0
This was a wake-up call for me earlier this year and I bit the bullet and setup PoA authority for all of my accounts. Lots of paperwork and notary, but I sleep well. In the end, it may be more a question of do I want to litigate the issue with Merrill Lynch, Vanguard, or Schwab or deal with the paperwork.

:annoyed

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:57 pm

afan wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:51 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:32 pm

Vanguard is in PA, and thus is legally required to accept a valid PoA that is other than on their own form.

RM
Can you cite the PA law, and provide a link?

Thanks
There are a few BH threads discussing this shortly after it was passed, if you want to search here.

Meanwhile, my most recent link to the statute is this:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/leg ... d=0&act=95

I have not reviewed it recently, so IF it has changed, I'm not aware of it. And Vanguard has not declared that there no longer is such a statute...

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Artsdoctor » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:59 pm

afan wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:49 pm
When I was helping an elderly person I found that not a single company or financial institution would accept a perfectly valid DPOA. NOT ONE! For things that were in a revocable trust there was no problem. But the power of attorney was completely useless. I have a DPOA for myself but I am not expecting it to do my attorney in fact any good.
It's discouraging that there have been so many hassles with POAs. However, I'm glad that you've experienced good outcomes with trusts; that has been my experience as well. I had to settle an estate several years ago and I was the trustee, and I was impressed by how easy the banking was.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by JoinToday » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:01 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:45 pm
....
IF Vanguard allowed outside "regular" PoA's, then what you would want, I think, would be a Springing PoA, one that "springs" into effect upon your incapacity.
One problem with this type of PoA is that it typically requires a physician (or more than one, or also someone else) to make a determination of that "incapacity". That can delay things at best, or at worst, make it problematic to use the SPoA at all.

That's the advantage of the Durable PoA. But that, like Vanguard's "authorizations" could be used immediately, regardless of whether the person with the DPoA (or Agent Authorization) had agreed to "wait".

It's all very tricky, and it all comes into play in critical ways, when life decisions can be at their most difficult.

But Vanguard should not be adding another layer of difficulty, when other similar institutions do not.
OR... when State Law *requires* that they accept a valid outside PoA, they simply should not be refusing, even acknowledging that they are violating the law!

We'd have absolutely no trouble with being asked to deal with some vetting, to make sure the PoA is indeed valid, IF Vanguard wanted to do that.

(We haven't yet encountered anyone else demanding some extra verification, but especially when it's a DPoA done well in advance of need, there would be time to do something reasonable to satisfy them. And their concern would indeed be reasonable.)

RM
I trust my offspring, but I don't want them to see my assets right now. I sent a secure email to VG to see if all the paperwork can be in place, and then agent authorization is activated once the durable POA is sent in. I will post if I receive a positive response from VG.

I have never seen a financial institution easily accept a durable POA. All require the agent authorization to be on their form, or in one case, a letter from the lawyer ($$) saying the POA was in fact valid; that was after many frustrating phone calls to the financial institution; a parent was incapacitated at the time.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm

JoinToday wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:01 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:45 pm
....
IF Vanguard allowed outside "regular" PoA's, then what you would want, I think, would be a Springing PoA, one that "springs" into effect upon your incapacity.
One problem with this type of PoA is that it typically requires a physician (or more than one, or also someone else) to make a determination of that "incapacity". That can delay things at best, or at worst, make it problematic to use the SPoA at all.

That's the advantage of the Durable PoA. But that, like Vanguard's "authorizations" could be used immediately, regardless of whether the person with the DPoA (or Agent Authorization) had agreed to "wait".

It's all very tricky, and it all comes into play in critical ways, when life decisions can be at their most difficult.

But Vanguard should not be adding another layer of difficulty, when other similar institutions do not.
OR... when State Law *requires* that they accept a valid outside PoA, they simply should not be refusing, even acknowledging that they are violating the law!

We'd have absolutely no trouble with being asked to deal with some vetting, to make sure the PoA is indeed valid, IF Vanguard wanted to do that.

(We haven't yet encountered anyone else demanding some extra verification, but especially when it's a DPoA done well in advance of need, there would be time to do something reasonable to satisfy them. And their concern would indeed be reasonable.)

RM
I trust my offspring, but I don't want them to see my assets right now. I sent a secure email to VG to see if all the paperwork can be in place, and then agent authorization is activated once the durable POA is sent in. I will post if I receive a positive response from VG.

I have never seen a financial institution easily accept a durable POA. All require the agent authorization to be on their form, or in one case, a letter from the lawyer ($$) saying the POA was in fact valid; that was after many frustrating phone calls to the financial institution; a parent was incapacitated at the time.
We'd have no problem at all with any financial institution (or any agency with important powers or access, etc.) needed to vet our legally valid DPoA. That just makes sense, actually.
I'm not sure how one might verify an older DPoA (or an SPoA) if the person is indeed incapacitated. I'm assuming somehow the original legal offices could help?
This raises some questions about doing this "online", come to think about it. Having legal records, held by attorneys, would presumably go a long way.

And with all of this, it would make sense to get started in advance of needing to use the DPoA/SPoA.
(The regular PoA would end upon incapacity, so that wouldn't be an issue, verifying it belatedly.)

All very sobering, trying to plan for now, and also for the future.

RM
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:11 pm

I think there may be some misunderstanding of "Durable" as it pertains to PoAs. My understanding (correct me if I am wrong)

A non-durable PoA ceases if the grantor becomes incapacitated, while durable continues after the grantor becomes incapicitated.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by FIREchief » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:12 pm

Good discussion. A few other related comments:

You shouldn't need multiple original signed copies of a POA (at least in my state). The POA should include a statement indicating that copies of the signed originals are just as valid as the original document.

The main drawback I see with using a brokerage's agent authorization form is that they tend to be immediate (has anybody seen anything else)? This means that your agent (perhaps an adult child or friend) has immediate access to your accounts, including the ability to conduct transactions. Even if they are very noble and honest people, if they don't practice good account security and their access is compromised; the bad guys could drain your account and leave you with little recourse. This is in addition to the fact that you just may not want your trusted agent to have visibility to your assets until such time that you become incapacitated.

Also, I believe there is a third option to "immediate" or "springing" POA (at least in my state). The POA can allow for the principle to execute a document that grants immediate authorization to the POA without existence or proof of incapacitation. I think this can be a simple signed/notarized sheet of paper that states that the designee(s) contained within the POA are now authorized to act and the document becomes an attachment to the POA. In other words, if I am not yet clinically incapacitated, but wish to execute my POA, I just need to sign a sheet of paper that authorizes my POA to now exercise the powers indicated within the POA.

Finally, the institutional agent authorization forms would make me nervous not because of what they enable, but because of what they don't cover. I don't believe they generally place effective limits on the agent's powers, and in many cases allow the agent to pretty much do whatever they decide. A proper POA should clearly outline what an agent can, and more importantly can not, do.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:15 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:13 pm
There is nothing that prevents a person from being proactive with a POA. We supplied copies of our properly executed POA's to our brokerage house as soon as we executed them. They had their legal folks review them. They archived copies, linked to our accounts, and provided feedback that they would be acceptable in the event of our incapacitation. That doesn't guarantee smooth sailing, but it is probably about the best a person can do. 8-)
I have seen it recommended that you not using "springing" POAs because it can be difficult to get doctors to sign off on the incapacity. They fear liability if the POA is accused of wrongdoing. Most recommendations are for durable POA.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:16 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:11 pm
I think there may be some misunderstanding of "Durable" as it pertains to PoAs. My understanding (correct me if I am wrong)

A non-durable PoA ceases if the grantor becomes incapacitated, while durable continues after the grantor becomes incapicitated.
My understanding is that you are correct.

And a Springing PoA "springs into action", so to speak, upon the incapacity.

A DPoA is "easiest" to use, if any of this is "easy" :annoyed

I suppose that someone using the plain PoA could be challenged to prove that the person was not, in fact, now incapacitated, sort of the opposite of the proof required to use an SPoA, where one would need to prove that the person IS now incapacitated.


IF my understandings here are incorrect, I'd very much appreciate corrections/clarifications. Thanks!

RM
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by FIREchief » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:18 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:11 pm
I think there may be some misunderstanding of "Durable" as it pertains to PoAs. My understanding (correct me if I am wrong)

A non-durable PoA ceases if the grantor becomes incapacitated, while durable continues after the grantor becomes incapicitated.
I believe that you are on the right track. The "durability" of the power should be outlined within a properly executed POA, covering variables such as disability, incapacitation and lapse of time. (please see my signature)
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:20 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:16 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:11 pm
I think there may be some misunderstanding of "Durable" as it pertains to PoAs. My understanding (correct me if I am wrong)
A non-durable PoA ceases if the grantor becomes incapacitated, while durable continues after the grantor becomes incapicitated.
My understanding is that you are correct.
And a Springing PoA "springs into action", so to speak, upon the incapacity.
A DPoA is "easiest" to use, if any of this is "easy" :annoyed
I suppose that someone using the plain PoA could be challenged to prove that the person was not, in fact, now incapacitated, sort of the opposite of the proof required to use an SPoA, where one would need to prove that the person IS now incapacitated.

IF my understandings here are incorrect, I'd very much appreciate corrections/clarifications. Thanks!
RM

In the past, before this wave of changes in many states were adopted, a PoA was not durable UNLESS is so specifically stated. With these changes, in most states that have adopted the changes (including Virginia) a PoA is considered "durable" unless the wording specifically states that it is not "durable"

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:31 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:20 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:16 pm
dm200 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:11 pm
I think there may be some misunderstanding of "Durable" as it pertains to PoAs. My understanding (correct me if I am wrong)
A non-durable PoA ceases if the grantor becomes incapacitated, while durable continues after the grantor becomes incapicitated.
My understanding is that you are correct.
And a Springing PoA "springs into action", so to speak, upon the incapacity.
A DPoA is "easiest" to use, if any of this is "easy" :annoyed
I suppose that someone using the plain PoA could be challenged to prove that the person was not, in fact, now incapacitated, sort of the opposite of the proof required to use an SPoA, where one would need to prove that the person IS now incapacitated.

IF my understandings here are incorrect, I'd very much appreciate corrections/clarifications. Thanks!
RM

In the past, before this wave of changes in many states were adopted, a PoA was not durable UNLESS is so specifically stated. With these changes, in most states that have adopted the changes (including Virginia) a PoA is considered "durable" unless the wording specifically states that it is not "durable"
I suppose that the safest thing to do would be to make sure that the "durability" - and conditions for that - or lack thereof are also specified in within the document, and also in addition to how it is titled.

The real problem is that IF this rears its ugly head, it would probably be at a very bad time, when one needed to access accounts/perform responsibilities, possibly quickly, for someone... who is no longer able to speak for themselves.
That is very worrisome.

We are getting our own "documents" re-done soon. But even the "old" ones, from about 10 years ago, go into considerable detail, far beyond template versions. Ditto our medical directives and proxies, so the "other of us" will have less likelihood of being challenged.

RM

And following some comments above, IANAL and I have never played one on TV.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by TBillT » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:42 pm

We just had something like this OP.
We lost a family member, unfortunately in a hospital on travel outside of USA.
So overseas Hospitals often want to be paid immediately, and put the burden on you to get reimbursement.
We tried to pay via POA (before the death) which was assigned to a Bank as trustee, but the Bank was not aware and not able to quickly act. So we had to pay out of pocket and still are await reimbursement from the estate. If the period of incapacitation had been lengthy, perhaps then we would have had the time to work with the trustee on it.

But in the heat of the moment, it was confusing. The lawyer gave us the POA document, so we thought, here is the bill-pay answer. But not so.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by afan » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:03 pm

For nonretirement assets the revocable trust is a great solution. This is a far more important reason not have a trust than avoiding probate. Making it easier for people to take over when you are incompetent is critical. Avoiding probate may not even matter when someone is settling your estate.

But for retirement accounts you cannot use the trust to give your designated person control.

We are fortunate to have two people as backup attorneys in fact. Both we trust completely, so we have no problem with them having access to our information. But spouse and I each hold DPOA for each other. Backups only come up when one of us is out of action.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by orlandoman » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm

FYI, "The Uniform Power of Attorney Act" was created in 2006 in an attempt to standardize POA details across the states, requirements, standards for acceptance, etc.

"The UPOAA provides broad protection for good faith acceptance or refusal of an acknowledged power of attorney, consequences for unreasonable refusal of an acknowledged power of attorney and recognition of the portability of powers of attorney validly created under other law."

The following states have entacted the Act so far: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

In 2017 the Act was introduced in: District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi

Details here http://www.uniformlaws.org/Act.aspx?tit ... 20Attorney
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Good Listener » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:53 pm

Gee. You can set up POA at Vanguard online in 2 minites. Why not instead of aggravating yourself about it.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by 2015 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:55 pm

Ok, I'm going to ask another stupid question...so pleeeeeze don't slam me. I am not asking this question of those having issues acting as agents of others, but those concerned with issues their own agents might encounter. Is the reason why folks are so concerned with having brokerage institutions accepting their POA's so that their agent can manage their investments in the event they become incapacitated?

I ask this because I personally don't need my designated agent to manage my investments if I become incapacitated, only perhaps to pay bills in order to keep the household going. I have checked and both my bank and Ally will accept my POA, so I'm thinking all I need. Upon death, my executor can use trust documents to manage the closing of my estate.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:59 pm

orlandoman wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 pm
FYI, "The Uniform Power of Attorney Act" was created in 2006 in an attempt to standardize POA details across the states, requirements, standards for acceptance, etc.

"The UPOAA provides broad protection for good faith acceptance or refusal of an acknowledged power of attorney, consequences for unreasonable refusal of an acknowledged power of attorney and recognition of the portability of powers of attorney validly created under other law."

The following states have entacted the Act so far: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

In 2017 the Act was introduced in: District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi

Details here http://www.uniformlaws.org/Act.aspx?tit ... 20Attorney
Thank you.

This document appears to be very helpful!

RM
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:06 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:53 pm
Gee. You can set up POA at Vanguard online in 2 minites. Why not instead of aggravating yourself about it.
Perhaps YOU can, but the issue is for a vanguard account holder who has not done this, BUT has done a PoA designating someone to handle their financial matters not on the Vanguard site or vanguard forms. Now, that person is incapacitated.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:13 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:53 pm
Gee. You can set up POA at Vanguard online in 2 minites. Why not instead of aggravating yourself about it.
How?

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tibbitts » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:23 pm

I agree that it would be extremely helpful if you could just do a POA and have it be universally accepted.

However, realistically the designated person will have online access to all your accounts, so there's a lot that can be done that way.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by JMacDonald » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:41 pm

Well this is an interesting conversation. I am going to check my financial institutions to see what they accept in the case of need.
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by BigJohn » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:17 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:17 pm
Vanguard just says the equivalent of "We don't care, use our "Agent Authorization" forms or nothing".
Full stop.
ResearchMed, I was one of those on the original discussions and was complaining loudly to VG a few years back. In discussion with my Flagship Rep recently, I found out that VG has modified their policy to be more accommodating to those who's loved one can no longer provide a notarized signature. Here are the requirements on their Agent Certification for Incapacitated Person form
Required documentation
Agents must attach both of the following documents
to this form:
• A complete and accurate original or copy of a valid
durable power of attorney authorizing the agent(s)
to act on the account owner’s behalf.
• A physician’s certification of the account owner’s
incapacity on the physician’s letterhead and dated
within 30 days of submission to Vanguard.
While not perfect, this is certainly leaps and bounds ahead of their prior take it or leave it approach. I'm sure I'd have no issue getting the physician's letter if I still needed that done.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Good Listener » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:35 pm

need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:13 pm
Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:53 pm
Gee. You can set up POA at Vanguard online in 2 minites. Why not instead of aggravating yourself about it.
How?
On line. The person (or you. :mrgreen: ) log on. Then you can set POA for retirement and no retirement accounts. If in doubt just call and they will help you.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by FIREchief » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:45 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:53 pm
Gee. You can set up POA at Vanguard online in 2 minites. Why not instead of aggravating yourself about it.
Would the person named as agent then immediately have full access to my accounts?
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