POAs may not be that powerful

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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:58 pm

FIREchief wrote:
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?
It's called Agent Authorization. The one you can set up in 2 minutes only allows limited account transactions. But you can fill out a form and get it notarized with 2 witnesses for full Agent Authorization. The agent has full financial access to your taxable and IRA accounts, but not other types of accounts like individual 401Ks. The agent does not have access to your security settings, for instance, at least not by logging in, perhaps by calling in(?). So it's not full access like logging in. Not as far as I can tell, I am a full agent for 2 people. The agent gains access via the agent's own account login. Here's a list of what an agent can do, according to the application form.

• Change your address or your bank account
information.
• Change your beneficiary designations—even
designate himself or herself as beneficiary.
• Buy, sell, and exchange Vanguard mutual funds.
• Buy, sell, and trade in stocks, bonds, and other
securities.
• Engage in margin and/or option trading.
• Obtain information on your accounts.
• Redeem your assets and have the proceeds
mailed in anyone’s name, including the agent’s.
• Transfer your assets to a new or different
registration.
• View beneficiary information online.*
• View statements online.*
• Write checks on your accounts.
• Consult with a CFP® professional about your
accounts and enter into a contract for any advice
service offered by Vanguard.
• Access all your statements and transaction
history—even from years prior to the agent’s
appointment.
• Open a new brokerage account or sign a new
account application.
• Sign any tax information or reporting form
required by federal or state taxing authorities.
• Conduct all other lawful transactions on
your account.

But I guess the agent would have to be able to log into a new brokerage account? Not sure.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:27 am, edited 3 times in total.

need403bhelp
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:20 pm

Good Listener wrote:
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.
Ok. I found this screen:

Image

Notably, I can set up a Limited Agent but not a Full Agent completely online?

It seems like Limited Agent can withdraw money but only to have it mailed to my address.

Is this what you mean, or do you have some other option to set up a Full Agent completely online?

Thanks so much!

EDIT: Here is Vanguard's description of the different access types:

Image

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FIREchief
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by FIREchief » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:28 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:58 pm
FIREchief wrote:
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?
It called Agent Authorization. The one you can set up in 2 minutes only allows viewing the accounts. But you can fill out a form and get it notarized with 2 witnesses for full Agent Authorization. The agent has full financial access to your taxable and IRA accounts, but not other types of accounts like individual 401Ks. The agent does not have access to your security settings, for instance, at least not by logging in, perhaps by calling in(?). So it's not full access like logging in. Not as far as I can tell, I am a full agent for 2 people. You gain access via their own account login. Here's a list of what an agent can do, according to the application form.

• Change your address or your bank account
information.
• Change your beneficiary designations—even
designate himself or herself as beneficiary.
• Buy, sell, and exchange Vanguard mutual funds.
• Buy, sell, and trade in stocks, bonds, and other
securities.
• Engage in margin and/or option trading.
• Obtain information on your accounts.
• Redeem your assets and have the proceeds
mailed in anyone’s name, including the agent’s.
• Transfer your assets to a new or different
registration.
• View beneficiary information online.*
• View statements online.*
• Write checks on your accounts.
• Consult with a CFP® professional about your
accounts and enter into a contract for any advice
service offered by Vanguard.
• Access all your statements and transaction
history—even from years prior to the agent’s
appointment.
• Open a new brokerage account or sign a new
account application.
• Sign any tax information or reporting form
required by federal or state taxing authorities.
• Conduct all other lawful transactions on
your account.

But I guess the agent would have to be able to log into a new brokerage account? Not sure.
Thanks tadamsmar. My question for "Good Listener" was more a rhetorical question intended to illustrate why his 2 minute approach might not meet the needs/desires of many. Your very thorough post further illustrates exactly why I (and likely others) would NOT settle for the one-size-fits-all "turn over the keys" brokerage agent authorization. A well drafted POA can legally limit the agent from doing anything on your list that you don't want them to.
You gain access via their own account login.
I'm not sure I understand this. Are you saying that if Sam names Joe as authorized agent, then Joe logs in using Sam's username and password? I would expect Joe to access Sam's account through his own login, which would now provide access to Sam's accounts.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

tibbitts
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tibbitts » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:42 pm

I don't know the mechanism for providing for a dedicated additional account, but as a practical matter I would expect most people would just log on as the account owner.

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:52 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:42 pm
I don't know the mechanism for providing for a dedicated additional account, but as a practical matter I would expect most people would just log on as the account owner.
Nope, that is prohibited, considered to be sharing passwords.

An agent logs in as "self", and then can see own accounts (if any) plus the other person's accounts...

... unless the other person has 403b accounts, in which case there is no clue that those even exist. There is NO way for the agent, even a full agent, to VIEW any information in a 403b account, not the total amount, not that it exists.

That is one of the problem.

The agent wants info about the 403b?
Call, spend too much time getting first to the regular core area, have the rep read whatever items you wish to hear, then get transferred to an entirely different "division" for similar readings of anything in the Brokerage part.

Want to know if dividends arrived? Call, ask for a verbal list of any...

NOT what one would expect for a full agent.

The list in a post above about what can be done... doesn't necessarily apply to 403b accounts, not all of the list.

RM
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need403bhelp
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:54 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:58 pm
FIREchief wrote:
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?
It called Agent Authorization. The one you can set up in 2 minutes only allows viewing the accounts. But you can fill out a form and get it notarized with 2 witnesses for full Agent Authorization. The agent has full financial access to your taxable and IRA accounts, but not other types of accounts like individual 401Ks. The agent does not have access to your security settings, for instance, at least not by logging in, perhaps by calling in(?). So it's not full access like logging in. Not as far as I can tell, I am a full agent for 2 people. You gain access via their own account login. Here's a list of what an agent can do, according to the application form.
My question was not rhetorical. FYI they let you set up limited agent which is NOT read only fully online - which I learned from this thread.

On this topic, do Fidelity net benefits or TIAA have similar options - online and or forms?

Thanks so much!

BigJohn
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by BigJohn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:06 am

Unfortunately, if you have to act for an incapacitated person, the limited agent authorization does not allow the range of actions that might be required. The full agent authorization requires a notarized signature which is often not possible. The agent authorization of an incapacitated person that I described earlier in this discussion is relatively new and a reasonable alternative in those situations.

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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:12 am

FIREchief wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:28 pm
You gain access via their own account login.
I'm not sure I understand this. Are you saying that if Sam names Joe as authorized agent, then Joe logs in using Sam's username and password? I would expect Joe to access Sam's account through his own login, which would now provide access to Sam's accounts.
The agent (Joe) access's Sam's account through his own (Joe's) login.I did not word that well .Also, other's have corrected me on the limited Agent Authorization, it does allow some transactions.

There are a couple of questions I have.

1. Does can a limited agent view your beneficiaries? That might be an issue for some who want to keep that confidential. (Not sure about Vanguard, but some brokerages keep this information confidential even from the executor of the will. Each beneficiary has to contact the brokerage.)

2. How full is full agent authorization? For instance, there appears to be no way to set up phone alerts or set up a secondary mailing address of a statement or change other account settings online. I wonder if that can be done in some other way?

#2 is important because Vanguard is against password sharing. Can an full agent really manage account security without using the password of the person that they are acting for?
Last edited by tadamsmar on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:31 am, edited 5 times in total.

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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:16 am

BigJohn wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:06 am
Unfortunately, if you have to act for an incapacitated person, the limited agent authorization does not allow the range of actions that might be required. The full agent authorization requires a notarized signature which is often not possible. The agent authorization of an incapacitated person that I described earlier in this discussion is relatively new and a reasonable alternative in those situations.
It's important to set these up while the person can still provide an notarized signature.

I am glad the Bogleheads are having a full conversation on Agent Authorization.

scifilover
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by scifilover » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:14 am

If you have a password manager you could write a letter to the person with your DPOA and give them the password. Then, this person could use your computer and do anything with any of your accounts that you could do.

Obviously, this is against the rules of most institutions such as Vanguard, and Schwab who insist that you cannot let your DW or DH use your password to do something with your account. However, I believe that this is done quite commonly. When I was handling my FIL's affairs, an online bank refused to honor the DPOA. I used his PW and LOGONID to move the funds to a bank that did honor it. I wonder if your DPOA could be altered to explicitly state that your atty-in-fact is authorized to use your logonids and PW's as necessary?

This POA thing isn't just businesses. The IRS will not accept a POA and insists that you complete their form which allows you to deal with them over just three years of returns. And, then you have to refile for additional years.

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1210sda
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by 1210sda » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:33 am

Can you have more than one Full Agent Authorization, i.e a successor agent ??

Does it make sense?

Isn't this what many folks have with their DPOA's?

1210

BigJohn
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by BigJohn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:44 am

tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:12 am
2. How full is full agent authorization? For instance, there appears to be no way to set up phone alerts or set up a secondary mailing address of a statement or change other account settings online. I wonder if that can be done in some other way?
I have full agent authorization on my wife's IRA accounts. When I logon with my user name and password, my wife's accounts show up in my summary in the same way as my IRA and the joint account. When I go to the account maintenance page, all options appear to be available for all accounts (although I haven't tested each one to ensure I don't get stopped).

I did log on and checked some of your questions and found the following. I can setup a secondary mailing address for my wife's account and can change other account settings. Unfortunately, phone/email alerts are sent to registered owners only, not agents. The way I managed this was I assisted my wife in logging on to her account years ago and setting up her email address and phone number to be the same as mine.
tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:16 am
It's important to set these up while the person can still provide an notarized signature.
I couldn't agree more which is why having VG not accept my valid DPOA was such an unwelcome surprise several years ago. My advice to people now is to check with each and every financial institution early to see what it needs. Clearly another reason why simplification and fewer financial institutions to deal with are a good idea.

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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:52 am

scifilover wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:14 am
If you have a password manager you could write a letter to the person with your DPOA and give them the password. Then, this person could use your computer and do anything with any of your accounts that you could do.

Obviously, this is against the rules of most institutions such as Vanguard, and Schwab who insist that you cannot let your DW or DH use your password to do something with your account. However, I believe that this is done quite commonly. When I was handling my FIL's affairs, an online bank refused to honor the DPOA. I used his PW and LOGONID to move the funds to a bank that did honor it. I wonder if your DPOA could be altered to explicitly state that your atty-in-fact is authorized to use your logonids and PW's as necessary?
My POA grants the same access rights that I have explicitly including the right to recover and change passwords.

The brokerage firms would treat any POA transactions as authorized, that's of course OK.

But what about the fraud reimbursement guarantees from Schwab, Vanguard, or Fidelity? If my computer is hacked then I get reimbursed (unless I am negligent depending on specific language of the guarantee). But what if the POA's computer is hacked? The language in these guarantees could even be interpreted as completely voiding the guarantee if the passwords or shared regardless of whether the sharing was material to the fraud.

These situations don't seem to arise very often and it's hard to determine what would happen.

scifilover
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by scifilover » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:42 am

"But what about the fraud reimbursement guarantees from Schwab, Vanguard, or Fidelity? If my computer is hacked then I get reimbursed (unless I am negligent depending on specific language of the guarantee). But what if the POA's computer is hacked? The language in these guarantees could even be interpreted as completely voiding the guarantee if the passwords or shared regardless of whether the sharing was material to the fraud."

Schwab offers an additional account security tool in the form of a code generating key fob that generates single use codes that one enters in addition to ones PW. So, the best way of avoiding hack issues, is to be positive on your own security....(don't leave the fob on the desk)

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:06 am

tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:52 am
scifilover wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:14 am
If you have a password manager you could write a letter to the person with your DPOA and give them the password. Then, this person could use your computer and do anything with any of your accounts that you could do.

Obviously, this is against the rules of most institutions such as Vanguard, and Schwab who insist that you cannot let your DW or DH use your password to do something with your account. However, I believe that this is done quite commonly. When I was handling my FIL's affairs, an online bank refused to honor the DPOA. I used his PW and LOGONID to move the funds to a bank that did honor it. I wonder if your DPOA could be altered to explicitly state that your atty-in-fact is authorized to use your logonids and PW's as necessary?
My POA grants the same access rights that I have explicitly including the right to recover and change passwords.

The brokerage firms would treat any POA transactions as authorized, that's of course OK.

But what about the fraud reimbursement guarantees from Schwab, Vanguard, or Fidelity? If my computer is hacked then I get reimbursed (unless I am negligent depending on specific language of the guarantee). But what if the POA's computer is hacked? The language in these guarantees could even be interpreted as completely voiding the guarantee if the passwords or shared regardless of whether the sharing was material to the fraud.

These situations don't seem to arise very often and it's hard to determine what would happen.
Here is a question, about someone operating under a DPoA (or any PoA) - and for this, let's try to ignore Vanguard's peculiar treatment of PoA's (as in, refusing to recognize them; let's assume they are operating within PA law, and DO recognize a DPoA, etc., for this):

IF one is operating as any PoA, and uses the account owner's passwords, IS that "sharing"?
The person acting under the PoA is operating "as if" they are indeed that initial person, with the same legal rights.

The above is obviously NOT a legal definition... are there any attorneys here who could weigh in as to whether someone operating under a valid PoA would be considered "sharing" passwords, or would be considered more "as IF they were that account holder", in which case "sharing" doesn't seem to make sense.

I just thought of this, given the above discussion...

Thanks.

RM
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BigJohn
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by BigJohn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:53 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:06 am
and for this, let's try to ignore Vanguard's peculiar treatment of PoA's (as in, refusing to recognize them; let's assume they are operating within PA law, and DO recognize a DPoA, etc., for this)
ResearchMed, did you see my post above about the changes VG has made? viewtopic.php?p=3617463#p3617463

While not unconditional recognition of existing DPOA's, they have made changes to allow getting full agent authorization for an incapacitated person with an existing DPOA much easier than it was several years ago.

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:34 pm

BigJohn wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:53 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:06 am
and for this, let's try to ignore Vanguard's peculiar treatment of PoA's (as in, refusing to recognize them; let's assume they are operating within PA law, and DO recognize a DPoA, etc., for this)
ResearchMed, did you see my post above about the changes VG has made? viewtopic.php?p=3617463#p3617463

While not unconditional recognition of existing DPOA's, they have made changes to allow getting full agent authorization for an incapacitated person with an existing DPOA much easier than it was several years ago.
Thanks. That's a bit different from my more general question, but it's definitely relevant to our "Vanguard PoA" issue.

I'm still curious whether legally, someone operating as PoA would be considered to be "sharing" passwords, or simply "operating as the original person with the original person's 'own' passwords"?

It seems that what you are citing would just be a way to arrange an "agent" access, which will not work for our 403b accounts. It's just too unwieldy, especially because we slice and dice and also have both core and brokerage holdings, which would mean speaking with two separate reps in two separate Vanguard areas, just to be able to *listen* to a litany of all holdings/balances/deposits/dividends/cap-gains/sales/etc., or even just to get to two separate people just to confirm that the "balances are as they should be".
And typically, getting to the 403b brokerage rep is nonsensical. First I call the proper phone number. Then I ask for someone who can assist with the "<Employer's 403b BROKERAGE>" holdings. Then I get the regular 403b. They assure me they can help, and then when they can't find what I'm asking about, THEN they decide that no, they actually can't help. So most often at that point, I get switched to the "brokerage area". But then... they can't help with a *403b* brokerage question/access even though I emphasized that particular combo (plus Employer's name, which apparently means yet another dedicated group)... and 'round we go.

It's just so much easier when "DH logs in" and then hands his laptop to me. (He wants nothing to do with any of this, and I'm a numbers person, etc., and am very interested, etc.)

But with a legal DPoA, I should be able to "do it all myself", online, same as he could/would.
IF Vanguard played by the *legal* rules, that is.

I'm noticing that the Uniform regs seem to allow for reimbursement of legal fees if a covered institution refuses to comply with that new "outside" PoA statute. I need to look into that again.
It's just outrageous that Vanguard knowingly and purposefully refuses to comply with state law.
Not only is it "wrong", but it's a royal pain for us, and would get much, much more difficult IF DH did in fact become incapacitated. Eventually, we'd probably just move the 403b monies out, but he's got very generous short and long-term disability coverage (plus accrued sick-or-vacation time - forget which keeps building up - so it would be quite some time before he ended up "separating" such that we could move the money even if we wanted to sooner.

Grrrrr.

Thanks again.
[I'm sending you a PM.]

RM
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sschoe2
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by sschoe2 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:44 pm

I am currently going through this with my mother who had a stroke. I do not have a POA yet she just recently became coherent again so I am planning to get one as soon as I can arrange a notary with the hospital.

I've done pretty well with simple access to her online accounts, checks, and debit cards. I set all her online accesses up since she had very little technical understanding. The bills come in and I pay them either through bill-pay, debit, or occasionally a check. On a few occasions I've had to call up and pretend to be her to deal with billers and such and so far noone has questioned me despite me being a male and her being female with a female name. This has worked well for 6 months.

I think your best bet is just to give your online passwords and cards/checks to your intended POA and deal with it off the books as much as possible. Once the legal system becomes involved it just gets very messy and expensive.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:11 pm

It sounds like Vanguard is (sort of) converting the durable POA to a springing POA by requiring a doctor to sign off on incapacity. If they followed the law, then that would not be necessary. I haven't heard a good reason why Vanguard thinks it is above the law.
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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:01 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:06 am
tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:52 am
scifilover wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:14 am
If you have a password manager you could write a letter to the person with your DPOA and give them the password. Then, this person could use your computer and do anything with any of your accounts that you could do.

Obviously, this is against the rules of most institutions such as Vanguard, and Schwab who insist that you cannot let your DW or DH use your password to do something with your account. However, I believe that this is done quite commonly. When I was handling my FIL's affairs, an online bank refused to honor the DPOA. I used his PW and LOGONID to move the funds to a bank that did honor it. I wonder if your DPOA could be altered to explicitly state that your atty-in-fact is authorized to use your logonids and PW's as necessary?
My POA grants the same access rights that I have explicitly including the right to recover and change passwords.

The brokerage firms would treat any POA transactions as authorized, that's of course OK.

But what about the fraud reimbursement guarantees from Schwab, Vanguard, or Fidelity? If my computer is hacked then I get reimbursed (unless I am negligent depending on specific language of the guarantee). But what if the POA's computer is hacked? The language in these guarantees could even be interpreted as completely voiding the guarantee if the passwords or shared regardless of whether the sharing was material to the fraud.

These situations don't seem to arise very often and it's hard to determine what would happen.
Here is a question, about someone operating under a DPoA (or any PoA) - and for this, let's try to ignore Vanguard's peculiar treatment of PoA's (as in, refusing to recognize them; let's assume they are operating within PA law, and DO recognize a DPoA, etc., for this):

IF one is operating as any PoA, and uses the account owner's passwords, IS that "sharing"?
The person acting under the PoA is operating "as if" they are indeed that initial person, with the same legal rights.

The above is obviously NOT a legal definition... are there any attorneys here who could weigh in as to whether someone operating under a valid PoA would be considered "sharing" passwords, or would be considered more "as IF they were that account holder", in which case "sharing" doesn't seem to make sense.

I just thought of this, given the above discussion...

Thanks.

RM
They say is 2 different ways. "Do not share" and "This protection does not apply to unauthorized activity caused in whole or in part by your fraudulent, intentional, or negligent acts or omissions, including activity by a person whom you have intentionally or negligently permitted to transact in your account, or to whom you have intentionally or negligently given access to security information relating to your account."

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/S ... ontent.jsp

So it does not henge on the meaning of the word "sharing".

ResearchMed
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:01 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:01 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:06 am
tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:52 am
scifilover wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:14 am
If you have a password manager you could write a letter to the person with your DPOA and give them the password. Then, this person could use your computer and do anything with any of your accounts that you could do.

Obviously, this is against the rules of most institutions such as Vanguard, and Schwab who insist that you cannot let your DW or DH use your password to do something with your account. However, I believe that this is done quite commonly. When I was handling my FIL's affairs, an online bank refused to honor the DPOA. I used his PW and LOGONID to move the funds to a bank that did honor it. I wonder if your DPOA could be altered to explicitly state that your atty-in-fact is authorized to use your logonids and PW's as necessary?
My POA grants the same access rights that I have explicitly including the right to recover and change passwords.

The brokerage firms would treat any POA transactions as authorized, that's of course OK.

But what about the fraud reimbursement guarantees from Schwab, Vanguard, or Fidelity? If my computer is hacked then I get reimbursed (unless I am negligent depending on specific language of the guarantee). But what if the POA's computer is hacked? The language in these guarantees could even be interpreted as completely voiding the guarantee if the passwords or shared regardless of whether the sharing was material to the fraud.

These situations don't seem to arise very often and it's hard to determine what would happen.
Here is a question, about someone operating under a DPoA (or any PoA) - and for this, let's try to ignore Vanguard's peculiar treatment of PoA's (as in, refusing to recognize them; let's assume they are operating within PA law, and DO recognize a DPoA, etc., for this):

IF one is operating as any PoA, and uses the account owner's passwords, IS that "sharing"?
The person acting under the PoA is operating "as if" they are indeed that initial person, with the same legal rights.

The above is obviously NOT a legal definition... are there any attorneys here who could weigh in as to whether someone operating under a valid PoA would be considered "sharing" passwords, or would be considered more "as IF they were that account holder", in which case "sharing" doesn't seem to make sense.

I just thought of this, given the above discussion...

Thanks.

RM
They say is 2 different ways. "Do not share" and "This protection does not apply to unauthorized activity caused in whole or in part by your fraudulent, intentional, or negligent acts or omissions, including activity by a person whom you have intentionally or negligently permitted to transact in your account, or to whom you have intentionally or negligently given access to security information relating to your account."

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/S ... ontent.jsp

So it does not henge on the meaning of the word "sharing".
Right.

But my question is more about the legal definition/usage/etc., of that DPoA (or any PoA) and any person operating with one, and not really about the usage/definition of "sharing" or "permitted to use", etc.

IF that person (the person operating with the Power) is considered "to be as if the original account owner" (sorry for clumsy non-legal terminology), then does any of that (e.g., Vanguard's) prohibited sharing, "permitting to use", or however phrased, even remain relevant?

OR... is it really that the person operating with the Power "IS" considered sort of to be the original owner, in this context. In other words, would this no longer be considered as "sharing" or "permitting to use", as it isn't really "permission". Would it be more like legally operating as if one is the owner.

I hope I made that clear.
IF that were somehow to be the case legally, then in a way, that should bypass Vanguard's "password rules", and one could do everything "as if" owner without risking anything more than the actual owner would risk, in terms of some other account compromise.

I'm just not that clear about how the person with a legally valid DPoA (or any PoA), and their actions, is "considered", legally, compared with the actual account owner.
Is the person operating with a PoA no different than someone "just acting with regular, every day permission", or is it a different legal status?

RM
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afan
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by afan » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:23 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:01 pm
"This protection does not apply to unauthorized activity caused in whole or in part by your fraudulent, intentional, or negligent acts or omissions, including activity by a person whom you have intentionally or negligently permitted to transact in your account, or to whom you have intentionally or negligently given access to security information relating to your account."

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/S ... ontent.jsp

But it would appear that for you to lose the protection, it is not enough that you gave someone your login information. It had to result in unauthorized activity conducted by that person. As long as the holder of your DPOA does not engage in, presumably illegal, unauthorized activity, Vanguard is not off the hook. Or, at least that is how this nonlawyer reads it.
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BigJohn
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by BigJohn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:36 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:01 pm
They say is 2 different ways. "Do not share" and "This protection does not apply to unauthorized activity caused in whole or in part by your fraudulent, intentional, or negligent acts or omissions, including activity by a person whom you have intentionally or negligently permitted to transact in your account, or to whom you have intentionally or negligently given access to security information relating to your account."
I'm no lawyer but I could parse this two ways. If I were VG defending not sharing, I'd focus on the words "intentional(ly)" since this seems to preclude giving your logon info to anyone else. If I were me defending sharing, I'd focus on the words "unauthorized activity" and take the position that my actions were in fact authorized by the DPOA. It would be interesting to know if these questions have been asked and answered by the legal system. As a practical matter, it's unclear how VG would ever know this had happened unless the other party filed a complaint that some transaction should be reversed because it was fraudulent. However, it's tough to make that claim against someone to whom you've given a DPOA.
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:34 pm
It seems that what you are citing would just be a way to arrange an "agent" access, which will not work for our 403b accounts.
I didn't realize you were struggling with access issues to a 403b. While the change I mentioned makes things a lot easier for most situations, that one is still a pain. I wonder why it's treated so differently?

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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:35 pm

Just want to note that there is no law or regulation that requires Vanguard to reimburse you due to a fraud that was not due to a fault in their systems. Many brokerages don't give a reimbursement pledge, but the big three mutual fund companies do. And, there is no case law that bears directly on the matter. It has been the practice of brokerages to reimburse if the client was not negligent and reported the fraud in a timely fashion. Some argue that the brokerage would be forced to reimburse by the courts or the SEC or the fear of adverse publicity.

Good Listener
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Good Listener » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:08 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?
I did it online for my folks awhile ago.

BigJohn
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by BigJohn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:16 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:08 pm
I did it online for my folks awhile ago.
Many years ago you could in fact setup full agent authorization on-line at VG but they changed that some time ago. Now you can set-up only a very limited authorization on-line. For full authorization you have to use their paper form and get the signatures notarized.

Be aware that if you are grandfathered as an agent under the old system and your parents upgrade their account from a MF to brokerage account, that grandfathering is no longer valid. You'll have to submit the paperwork consistent with VG's new requirements.

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tadamsmar
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by tadamsmar » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:54 am

It use to be easier, but now adding Vanguard full agent authorization requires you, two witnesses that are not the agent, and a notary. Four people together at the notary's desk, including the notary. It's the most elaborate requirement for notarizing a form that I have ever encountered. My bank (Wells Fargo) will notarize forms, but they would not provide the witnesses, but my daughter said that her bank provided witnesses for some real estate forms. I waited till I had some relatives staying with us to get it done.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by Artsdoctor » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:36 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:54 am
It use to be easier, but now adding Vanguard full agent authorization requires you, two witnesses that are not the agent, and a notary. Four people together at the notary's desk, including the notary. It's the most elaborate requirement for notarizing a form that I have ever encountered. My bank (Wells Fargo) will notarize forms, but they would not provide the witnesses, but my daughter said that her bank provided witnesses for some real estate forms. I waited till I had some relatives staying with us to get it done.
I agree. When we did our Full Agent Authorization forms, we met at the hospital, used its notary, and asked a couple of nurses nearby to be witnesses. It was an ordeal. However, it STILL turned out to be easier than what we went through in the past with medallion signature guarantees.

I can vouch for the ease of ultimately being a Full Agent. All of the accounts show up (although we no longer have any 403s) and we have not run into any limitations at all.

All of that said, if one of us were to die and the other be incapacitated, I'm sure the DPOA would have a difficult time stepping in with some brokers and banks. I'm still trying to figure out a smooth transition with this and I'm not sure that's possible.

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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by smackboy1 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:31 pm

Durable POAs present a huge risk of fraud or malfeasance. To be useful they have to give the agent immediate unfettered power over the principal's assets. Financial institutions do not like getting caught in the middle and potentially be exposed to liability. Durable POAs are generally not drafted to protect financial institutions. That's why financial institutions like using their own forms - they can insert terms and conditions that limit their liability. Institutions like Vanguard have decided the lesser of the two evils is to face a lawsuit and be compelled by court order to honor a durable POA. Sometimes bringing in a lawyer to deal with the legal department and make things happen without the need to obtain a court order.
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FIREchief
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Re: POAs may not be that powerful

Post by FIREchief » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:20 pm

smackboy1 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:31 pm
Durable POAs present a huge risk of fraud or malfeasance. To be useful they have to give the agent immediate unfettered power over the principal's assets.
This is either simply not true or else we are not all understanding the term "durable" to mean the same thing (probably the later). Some have interpreted "durable" to generally mean that the POA will not be impacted by the grantor's ultimate incapacitation (the real meaning of durable should be spelled out within a properly executed POA). Also, a POA does not need to grant "unfettered" power. It can spell out terms and limitations on such things as investment powers and powers to buy or sell property/businesses/etc. I understand that in many cases fraud can not be prevented (only prosecuted), but malfeasance is much less likely if a person is exercising a power that they are not legally authorized to execute (which likely brings us back to fraud).
smackboy1 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:31 pm
Institutions like Vanguard have decided the lesser of the two evils is to face a lawsuit and be compelled by court order to honor a durable POA. Sometimes bringing in a lawyer to deal with the legal department and make things happen without the need to obtain a court order.
Probably easier just to move to a brokerage who is a bit more reasonable about such things. I know of one with a local brick and mortar who (as mentioned earlier) willingly had their legal department review POAs when they were established and provided "pre-approval" of their use in the event of incapacitation. This was a whole lot easier than getting a lawyer to challenge an out of state brokerage house's silly rules (which at best would just create tremendous delays at a time when delays could be very painful).
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