Powers of Attorney

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Carolina Shagger
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Powers of Attorney

Post by Carolina Shagger »

I have a general question about Powers of Attorney. I have read that a Durable Power of Attorney is sometimes not accept by some institutions, e.g. banks, because it is not on their form. If the grantor is still available and there is still enough time before the proposed action needs to take place, I guess this can be done but might be a real inconvenience. But what about when the grantor is not available nor is now longer of sound enough mind to execute a new Power of Attorney?
Which leads me to another question. Should all Powers of Attorney be re-done periodically? Not only a Durable Power of Attorney but a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will? If so, what is the consensus as to how often.
Thanks for your help.
Parkinglotracer
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Parkinglotracer »

Carolina Shagger wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:40 am I have a general question about Powers of Attorney. I have read that a Durable Power of Attorney is sometimes not accept by some institutions, e.g. banks, because it is not on their form. If the grantor is still available and there is still enough time before the proposed action needs to take place, I guess this can be done but might be a real inconvenience. But what about when the grantor is not available nor is now longer of sound enough mind to execute a new Power of Attorney?
Which leads me to another question. Should all Powers of Attorney be re-done periodically? Not only a Durable Power of Attorney but a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will? If so, what is the consensus as to how often.
Thanks for your help.
Your first question answers itself I think. If say I want my spouse to have a POA in order to handle my affairs at Vanguard if I can’t and I worry my general POA is not sufficient, it would be a good idea to get Vanguard’s own POA form (if they have one) done while everyone is able to complete the form. I will do exactly this, this week. Thanks for the idea.
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Kagord
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Kagord »

From my experiences.

IMHO, sometimes is overstating, in my case, being a non spouse, I'd estimate only 25% of financial institutions I've dealt with accepted me walking off the street with a POA in hand or faxing it in. In one case, I had a 25 year old POA, that a credit union did accept, they checked the signature, it matched, and I had the same last name. Hospitals I've dealt insisted on their own form as well, I tried to get records from a few private practice doctors who all denied and I gave up. A few institutions that would take, liked to see it current within a year or two.

So it's best to set POAs up direct with institutions that require it, and keep the POAs and health directives current within a year or two to help minimize hassles and avoid the expenses associated if those are rejected.

So what happens if your POA or health POA is rejected because it's too old or not in the institution's own form, I asked my estate attorney a few years ago, and they said it's quite common. Assuming the POA/Health Directive is a valid legal document in the state (IE...a POA done in one state's form may not be recognized in another state), legal action can enforce it. They said it can get ugly with many letters and claim threats to strong arm the larger institution's legal departments to comply, and, in the end, they've always succeeded, sometimes after some years have passed. So a POA is not worthless, it just could be a potential hassle to enforce.

The 2nd option is becoming a court appointed guardian, which can be a lengthy process, I've heard.

As far as getting a current POA when needed, I've met attorneys at nursing homes, they just asked some simple questions for "reasonable" competency, like "What is your name?, What state are we in?, Do you know this POA person?" I have no idea what the proper standard is here, IANAL, just stating experiences.

I'm sure you will hear a variety of experiences on this site that differ greatly, but I think most would agree, having the POAs set up at institutions is the optimum for minimizing the hassle factor.

Edit: I'll add a list of what I consider to be financial firms that I've dealt with, not hard to rack up 15 to 20 of these for some people who aren't like "I only use Vanguard and USAA"
Banks
Credit Unions
Brokers
Treasury
Credit Cards and Reporting Agencies if credit is locked
Auto Loans
Insurance ( LTC, umbrella, annuities, demutualization shares, Medicare supplement/health, dental, house, auto)
Pension
SSA/Medicare (does not accept POA, need to be a Representative Payee)
IRS (does not accept an external POA)
gavinsiu
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by gavinsiu »

I have had experience where institutions insist that you use their POA. I have encountered some issues in the past.
  • It would be a good idea to test the POA right away. I have had issues where I exercised the POA and was told that it was not setup properly despite them tell me it was approved and I would need to redo the POA.
  • Institution often merge and I believe they are supposed to honor prior POA. However, they might want you to do a new POA.
  • In a similar vein, I have had situations where I am told that the POA form has changed and they want me to do a new one. However, I don't know if the institution can object that your POA is over 20 years old or is the old version of the form. It may be best to have a general durable POA around as a backup.
  • It may be worth checking that the form is durable, since I believe the non-durable POA stops working if the owner is incapacitated, which is precisely when you would want to use it.
Marq1
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Marq1 »

I cant state this to be true for all situations but my Mom recently passed away, her POA was drawn up twenty years ago in a different state, we re-did that in the current state. So for 20 years I managed her accounts occasionally having to provide a copy of that POA and never had any questions.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by cas »

Michael Kitces (of kitces.com, which has assorted financial planning articles that are referenced on bogleheads) had a guest writer write an article on current relevant topics with POAs, published last month. I haven't seen any of the attorneys on boglehead's review the article from their perspective, but readers of this thread may be interested.

(Like most Kitces articles, it is long ... takes some time to read and consider, but is considerably more thorough than typical internet articles on POA. Also, given it is a Kitces article, it is coming primarily from the perspective of management of financial assets rather than some of the other needs for POA mentioned above.)

Avoiding Client Power Of Attorney (POA) Rejection By Taking A Comprehensive ‘Kitchen Sink’ Approach (David Haughton, kitces.com, January 24, 2024)

Topics covered:
  • Executive Summary
  • Types Of Powers Of Attorney (POAs)
    -Durability
    -Immediate vs Springing
  • Reasons Financial Institutions Reject POAs
    -Document is Stale
    -The POA is signed without requisite formalities (especially when different states have different requirements)
    -The Problem with Multiple Agents
    -Complications with Form POAs
    -Failure to Specify Specific Power (especially those prohibited in Uniform Power of Attorney Act unless specifically mentioned)
  • Discussion of Some Specific Possible Powers
    -Power to Change Beneficiaries
    -Power to Make Gifts
    -Power to Deal with "Digital Assets"
  • Dealing With POA Rejection When The 'Kitchen Sink' Isn't Enough
    -Taking Legal Action
    -Conservatorship as an Option Beyond Power of Attorney
    -Trusts Can Make Life Easier All-Around (for assets that can be held in trust)
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by RickBoglehead »

If you execute a POA, you should then immediately get it on file with every institution it could be used at. You will then discover who wants their own form.
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snic
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by snic »

One thing to think about (before the person's mental state is too far gone) is putting as many of their assets in a trust as possible. The successor trustee would also have a broad DPOA. When the time comes, the person with DPOA executes a document resigning the original trustee (who is also the trustor) from that position, leaving the successor trustee in charge of the trust. Another possibility is that as the trustor's mental state declines, and they realize they can no longer manage their own affairs, they resign on their own accord.

I have no idea whether this would actually make it easier for the POA/successor trustee to deal with financial institutions, but it was suggested to me by my mother's financial advisor as one approach to making it easier for me (her POA and successor trustee) to manage her accounts.

Regarding updating POAs: My mother recently moved to a new state, and when we spoke with an estate planning attorney in her new location, he recommended a new POA that conforms to the standard POA in her new state. Hopefully that's the last one she'll need to execute, because she's getting to the point where she can no longer make these decisions on her own.
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Kagord
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Kagord »

snic wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 7:08 am
...the person with DPOA executes a document resigning the original trustee (who is also the trustor) from that position, leaving the successor trustee in charge of the trust. ...
IANAL, for clarification, though the POA can have broad language, I thought trustor/trustee duties (especially changing/resigning) could never be delegated or done by a POA, unless the trust specifically has language for a POA to be allowed to do this (which I think would be highly unusual, but maybe in your case, the trust has this wording).

Maybe some legal folks can chime in on this, I'm not sure.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Wading Ashore »

duplicate
Last edited by Wading Ashore on Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wading Ashore
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Wading Ashore »

Parkinglotracer wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:23 amIt would be a good idea to get Vanguard’s own POA form (if they have one) done while everyone is able to complete the form.
FYI - Vanguard operates a bit differently. You need to name someone a "Trusted Person." That person will have a general POA signed and witnessed - when/if necessary, they submit it to Vanguard to enable them to take actions on your behalf. I set that up recently.
Jack shall have Jill, nought shall go ill; the man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by jebmke »

Wading Ashore wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:02 am
Parkinglotracer wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:23 amIt would be a good idea to get Vanguard’s own POA form (if they have one) done while everyone is able to complete the form.
FYI - Vanguard operates a bit differently. You need to name someone a "Trusted Person." That person will have a general POA signed and witnessed - when/if necessary, they submit it to Vanguard to enable them to take actions on your behalf. I set that up recently.
Just out of curiosity, what would happen if someone granted VG agency to someone but had a POA (with language granting the POA broad powers over financial matters) who was different? I have not set up VG agency yet so I haven't seen the language in this document.
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Wading Ashore
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Wading Ashore »

jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:06 am
Wading Ashore wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:02 am
Parkinglotracer wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:23 amIt would be a good idea to get Vanguard’s own POA form (if they have one) done while everyone is able to complete the form.
FYI - Vanguard operates a bit differently. You need to name someone a "Trusted Person." That person will have a general POA signed and witnessed - when/if necessary, they submit it to Vanguard to enable them to take actions on your behalf. I set that up recently.
Just out of curiosity, what would happen if someone granted VG agency to someone but had a POA (with language granting the POA broad powers over financial matters) who was different? I have not set up VG agency yet so I haven't seen the language in this document.
If by "Agency" you mean Trusted Person," I believe the "Trusted Person" is only allowed to inquire about the accounts and see statements, but not transact.
Jack shall have Jill, nought shall go ill; the man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by jebmke »

Wading Ashore wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:09 am
jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:06 am
Wading Ashore wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:02 am
Parkinglotracer wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:23 amIt would be a good idea to get Vanguard’s own POA form (if they have one) done while everyone is able to complete the form.
FYI - Vanguard operates a bit differently. You need to name someone a "Trusted Person." That person will have a general POA signed and witnessed - when/if necessary, they submit it to Vanguard to enable them to take actions on your behalf. I set that up recently.
Just out of curiosity, what would happen if someone granted VG agency to someone but had a POA (with language granting the POA broad powers over financial matters) who was different? I have not set up VG agency yet so I haven't seen the language in this document.
If by "Agency" you mean Trusted Person," I believe the "Trusted Person" is only allowed to inquire about the accounts and see statements, but not transact.
That isn't what I mean. I mean the full agency authorization.

btw, my wife can see my individual accounts but cannot transact (and vice-versa). We never executed anything - it was simply a call to VG to hook all our accounts to each user ID. The household statement each month has everything on it.
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Wading Ashore
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Wading Ashore »

jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:15 am That isn't what I mean. I mean the full agency authorization.
As I understand it, you cannot "grant agency" to Vanguard. The Trusted Person needs to submit the general POA to Vanguard in order to transact.
Jack shall have Jill, nought shall go ill; the man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by jebmke »

Wading Ashore wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:19 am
jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:15 am That isn't what I mean. I mean the full agency authorization.
As I understand it, you cannot "grant agency" to Vanguard. The Trusted Person needs to submit the general POA to Vanguard in order to transact.
Interesting. That was not my understanding. Perhaps someone who has actually done it will weigh in here.

This seems to be a convoluted process. Depending on how complicated it is, perhaps this will finally trigger me to abandon VG.
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Wading Ashore
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by Wading Ashore »

jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:22 am Perhaps someone who has actually done it will weigh in here.
This seems to be a convoluted process.
I personally haven't found it convoluted. I set up a general POA, named him as a Trusted Person with Vanguard, instructed him as to Vanguard's procedure, and he agreed.
Jack shall have Jill, nought shall go ill; the man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by cas »

jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:06 am
Wading Ashore wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:02 am
Parkinglotracer wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:23 amIt would be a good idea to get Vanguard’s own POA form (if they have one) done while everyone is able to complete the form.
FYI - Vanguard operates a bit differently. You need to name someone a "Trusted Person." That person will have a general POA signed and witnessed - when/if necessary, they submit it to Vanguard to enable them to take actions on your behalf. I set that up recently.
Just out of curiosity, what would happen if someone granted VG agency to someone but had a POA (with language granting the POA broad powers over financial matters) who was different? I have not set up VG agency yet so I haven't seen the language in this document.
jebmke: The Vanguard Full Agent Authorization paperwork *is* a Pennsylvania Durable Power of Attorney document, drawn up to conform specifically to Pennsylvania law (since Vanguard is headquartered in PA) and with some Vanguard specific wording. So it sounds like your scenario would get into dualing POA documents at Vanguard. I would assume the specific Vanguard one would win at Vanguard, but IANAL. Possibly the "agent certification for an incapacitated person" (see below) could be used for the person named in the other general POA, but the "agent for an incapacitated person" has much more limited powers than the Vanguard Full Agent Authorization.

Wading Ashore: Can you provide a link to the form/page where Vanguard talks about what you did? Your description is
1. very different from the way Vanguard has long handled these sorts of matters
2. sounds like kind of a mash up of the Vanguard "Add or Remove Access to Your Account" process and the FINRA "Trusted Contact" concept, , which is something very different that an agent authorization. (Here is a link to Vanguard's description of their implementation of FINRA's "Trusted Contact" requirement)

That doesn't mean that Vanguard didn't change things recently and you are right, but I just logged in, went part way in to the "Add or Remove Access to your Account" form, and it looks the same as it has long been. It has exactly the same 5 levels of "agent authorization" it has long had, with the first page saying:

What type of account access would you like to grant or receive?

( Compare levels of access ) <-- jebmke, you may be interested in getting to this page and clicking on this link
  • Information only.
  • Limited authority.
  • Full authority.
  • Agent certification for incapacitated person.
  • Court appointed access.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by jebmke »

cas wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:56 am
jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:06 am
Wading Ashore wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:02 am
Parkinglotracer wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:23 amIt would be a good idea to get Vanguard’s own POA form (if they have one) done while everyone is able to complete the form.
FYI - Vanguard operates a bit differently. You need to name someone a "Trusted Person." That person will have a general POA signed and witnessed - when/if necessary, they submit it to Vanguard to enable them to take actions on your behalf. I set that up recently.
Just out of curiosity, what would happen if someone granted VG agency to someone but had a POA (with language granting the POA broad powers over financial matters) who was different? I have not set up VG agency yet so I haven't seen the language in this document.
jebmke: The Vanguard Full Agent Authorization paperwork *is* a Pennsylvania Durable Power of Attorney document, drawn up to conform specifically to Pennsylvania law (since Vanguard is headquartered in PA) and with some Vanguard specific wording. So it sounds like your scenario would get into dualing POA documents at Vanguard. I would assume the specific Vanguard one would win at Vanguard, but IANAL. Possibly the "agent certification for an incapacitated person" (see below) could be used for the person named in the other general POA, but the "agent for an incapacitated person" has much more limited powers than the Vanguard Full Agent Authorization.

Wading Ashore: Can you provide a link to the form/page where Vanguard talks about what you did? Your description is
1. very different from the way Vanguard has long handled these sorts of matters
2. sounds like kind of a mash up of the Vanguard "Add or Remove Access to Your Account" process and the FINRA "Trusted Contact" concept, , which is something very different that an agent authorization. (Here is a link to Vanguard's description of their implementation of FINRA's "Trusted Contact" requirement)

That doesn't mean that Vanguard didn't change things recently and you are right, but I just logged in, went part way in to the "Add or Remove Access to your Account" form, and it looks the same as it has long been. It has exactly the same 5 levels of "agent authorization" it has long had, with the first page saying:

What type of account access would you like to grant or receive?

( Compare levels of access ) <-- jebmke, you may be interested in getting to this page and clicking on this link
  • Information only.
  • Limited authority.
  • Full authority.
  • Agent certification for incapacitated person.
  • Court appointed access.
Thanks; I will follow this through and see what the document says. I'm assuming that the process produces a written doc (PDF) that needs to be witnessed etc before VG implements [I'd be shocked and concerned, if not].
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by cas »

jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:04 am
Thanks; I will follow this through and see what the document says. I'm assuming that the process produces a written doc (PDF) that needs to be witnessed etc before VG implements [I'd be shocked and concerned, if not].
Yes, a PDF needing signature will be produced.

Yes, the Full Agent Authorization complies with Pennsylvania law for a Pennsylvania durable POA, which (to my recollection from about a year ago) is that the person granting the POA plus 2 witnesses have to sign in front of a notary. (And the witnesses can't be the notary or the person being made agent.) Plus my recollection is that Vanguard requires that all the signatures have to be within a relatively short time frame (14 days? 30 days?) before Vanguard received the document. Can't get the document all signed and then stick it in a drawer to be sent in years later.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by jebmke »

cas wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:12 am
jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:04 am
Thanks; I will follow this through and see what the document says. I'm assuming that the process produces a written doc (PDF) that needs to be witnessed etc before VG implements [I'd be shocked and concerned, if not].
Yes, a PDF needing signature will be produced.

Yes, the Full Agent Authorization complies with Pennsylvania law for a Pennsylvania durable POA, which (to my recollection from about a year ago) is that the person granting the POA plus 2 witnesses have to sign in front of a notary. (And the witnesses can't be the notary or the person being made agent.) Plus my recollection is that Vanguard requires that all the signatures have to be within a relatively short time frame (14 days? 30 days?) before Vanguard received the document. Can't get the document all signed and then stick it in a drawer to be sent in years later.
almost sounds Belgian. Before we were issued residency cards in BE the town sent someone out to make sure my wife was living with me at the time. I had to produce raised seal birth certs (with apostille) and marriage cert. Our US passports meant nothing to them.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by HomeStretch »

The best course of action imo is to get the DPOA/its agent recognized by all financial institutions (FI) and for the agent to set up/test their account access before the grantor becomes incapacitated. Anyone who has a DPOA tucked in a folder that expects their agent to locate the DPOA and assume full control quickly and easily of the grantor’s finances when incapacitation strikes may be in for a rude surprise.

Incapacitations are often unexpected and may prevent the grantor from modifying the DPOA or dealing with FI to eliminate roadblocks that the agent faces. In the absence of a DPOA or healthcare POA, my understanding is that one would have to apply to the court to be a conservator over the incapacitated person/their finances. This route takes time and $. It’s also possible other family/friends may apply/be appointed or that the court could appoint a professional conservator.

I have experienced FI (BoA and Vanguard) refusing a current attorney-drafted DPOA. Plan B was to use their form for agent access.

FIs that accept DPOAs may limit the agent’s powers. For example:
- later on, BoA told me they now accept DPOAs but they limit some of the agent’s powers outlined in the document.
- Fidelity, which accepts DPOAs and is POA agent-friendly, requires the agent to call in for certain actions that the account holder can do online.

DPOAs may need to be updated periodically. For example, mine needed to be updated when my state adopted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Another example, my parents’ DPOAs needed to be updated in anticipation of one parent needing Medicaid LTC assistance.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by cas »

jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:20 am
cas wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:12 am

Yes, the Full Agent Authorization complies with Pennsylvania law for a Pennsylvania durable POA, which (to my recollection from about a year ago) is that the person granting the POA plus 2 witnesses have to sign in front of a notary. (And the witnesses can't be the notary or the person being made agent.) Plus my recollection is that Vanguard requires that all the signatures have to be within a relatively short time frame (14 days? 30 days?) before Vanguard received the document. Can't get the document all signed and then stick it in a drawer to be sent in years later.
almost sounds Belgian. Before we were issued residency cards in BE the town sent someone out to make sure my wife was living with me at the time. I had to produce raised seal birth certs (with apostille) and marriage cert. Our US passports meant nothing to them.
Pulling this thread back to the more general question asked by the OP, the Kitces article I linked above talks a little bit, in general, about why procedures are like this.

And, as a specific Pennsylvania/Vanguard example , if you read about this Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, which apparently got financial institutions subject to Pennsylvania law quite panicky, you'll probably start to see why Vanguard's lawyers are probably insisting that they do things the way they do and why some of the Vanguard-specific wording in their Full Agent Authorization form is there:
However, in Vine v. State Employees' Retirement Board, the [Pennsylvania] Supreme Court ruled that there is no third party immunity if the power of attorney itself is not valid. This presents a real problem for all those "third parties," like banks. The problem is that a power of attorney is not valid if the principal is not legally competent when he or she signs it. Furthermore, a power of attorney can be revoked at any time by a competent individual. It is essentially impossible for any third party to know whether a principal was competent when the power of attorney was signed. Similarly, there is no way to know whether a power of attorney has been revoked, if the agent has the original power of attorney to show to bankers, or stock brokers, or other third parties. The Supreme Court's ruling now effectively requires that the third parties verify that the principal was competent when the power of attorney was drafted and that the principal has not revoked it. Basically, that's an impossible task, and raises the possibility that banks and other third parties will no longer honor powers of attorneys.
(And, yes, it seems that the Pennsylvania legislature has been trying to fix the above problem, but they are apparently having problems because they've been issuing new legislation concerning power of attorney every few years ever since the above court decision.)
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by snic »

Kagord wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 7:42 am
snic wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 7:08 am
...the person with DPOA executes a document resigning the original trustee (who is also the trustor) from that position, leaving the successor trustee in charge of the trust. ...
IANAL, for clarification, though the POA can have broad language, I thought trustor/trustee duties (especially changing/resigning) could never be delegated or done by a POA, unless the trust specifically has language for a POA to be allowed to do this (which I think would be highly unusual, but maybe in your case, the trust has this wording).

Maybe some legal folks can chime in on this, I'm not sure.
You may very well be right. The suggestion came from my mother's financial advisor, who is not a lawyer. Maybe he saw this happen with a previous client, and maybe that client's trust specified that POA was authorized to have the trustee resign.
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Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by jebmke »

cas wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:52 am
jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:20 am
cas wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 9:12 am

Yes, the Full Agent Authorization complies with Pennsylvania law for a Pennsylvania durable POA, which (to my recollection from about a year ago) is that the person granting the POA plus 2 witnesses have to sign in front of a notary. (And the witnesses can't be the notary or the person being made agent.) Plus my recollection is that Vanguard requires that all the signatures have to be within a relatively short time frame (14 days? 30 days?) before Vanguard received the document. Can't get the document all signed and then stick it in a drawer to be sent in years later.
almost sounds Belgian. Before we were issued residency cards in BE the town sent someone out to make sure my wife was living with me at the time. I had to produce raised seal birth certs (with apostille) and marriage cert. Our US passports meant nothing to them.
Pulling this thread back to the more general question asked by the OP, the Kitces article I linked above talks a little bit, in general, about why procedures are like this.

And, as a specific Pennsylvania/Vanguard example , if you read about this Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, which apparently got financial institutions subject to Pennsylvania law quite panicky, you'll probably start to see why Vanguard's lawyers are probably insisting that they do things the way they do and why some of the Vanguard-specific wording in their Full Agent Authorization form is there:
However, in Vine v. State Employees' Retirement Board, the [Pennsylvania] Supreme Court ruled that there is no third party immunity if the power of attorney itself is not valid. This presents a real problem for all those "third parties," like banks. The problem is that a power of attorney is not valid if the principal is not legally competent when he or she signs it. Furthermore, a power of attorney can be revoked at any time by a competent individual. It is essentially impossible for any third party to know whether a principal was competent when the power of attorney was signed. Similarly, there is no way to know whether a power of attorney has been revoked, if the agent has the original power of attorney to show to bankers, or stock brokers, or other third parties. The Supreme Court's ruling now effectively requires that the third parties verify that the principal was competent when the power of attorney was drafted and that the principal has not revoked it. Basically, that's an impossible task, and raises the possibility that banks and other third parties will no longer honor powers of attorneys.
(And, yes, it seems that the Pennsylvania legislature has been trying to fix the above problem, but they are apparently having problems because they've been issuing new legislation concerning power of attorney every few years ever since the above court decision.)
I skimmed the Kitces piece and bookmarked it. This whole discussion certainly adds fuel to my efforts to really simplify things. We have few institutions and I would certainly not want to be like some of the brokerage firm collectors who would have to go from firm to firm to line things up for a designated person.

Also harkens back to when I wanted my wife to make some kind of change on our American Express card. She is an additional cardholder and AMEX required us to designate her as an account manager of some sort before they would give her any privileges other than charging something with her card.

Similarly, she originally set up our Verizon cell phone service with two phones, one in my name. I had zero influence with VZ until I was officially granted some kind of authority.

Don't even get me started on canceling cable service. I was this close to going in with my tree loppers to demonstrate my backup plan.
Stay hydrated; don't sweat the small stuff
RetiredAL
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by RetiredAL »

1) It is generally more expedient to use the FI's (Financial Institution) paperwork and follow their rules.
2) Set up everything and verify it's working sooner than later.
3) Keep proofs that you are a "listed agent".
4) Not directly related to POA, but keep current beneficiaries statement with Estate paperwork. I do annual print-outs and sign it before putting in the Estate book.

My Story -- My Dad put me on as POA and/or Joint years before need. I was also his Trustee, but his banks and CUs were not in the Trust. At one brokerage, where I had done everything with his IRA for years, his Advisor left, we went self-directed, and the call-in center said you are not in the computer, tough. We had no copies of the POA paperwork filled out and signed in the Advisor's office. By this time Dad was in rough shape and they would not accept the lawyer drafted POA when I submitted it. RMD's got missed. It was eventually solved by moving the IRA account to Schwab.

I found Schwab is very POA friendly and very complete. More so than Fidelity's POA.
HomeStretch
Posts: 11163
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:06 pm

Re: Powers of Attorney

Post by HomeStretch »

jebmke wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:03 am … Don't even get me started on canceling cable service. …
+1

Costco and the cable company (Comcast) were the worst two to deal with as my parents’ POA agent and even though I was an authorized person on the account.

A DPOA in and of itself doesn’t allow the agent to handle everything for an incapacitated person. SSA, IRS, Medicare, vendors/utilities may have their own processes.
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