Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

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Topic Author
Longruninvestor
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Longruninvestor »

afan wrote: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:58 am
Sound like there were major problems with the trust itself. I have managed a trust for an elderly person, before and after death, with no hassles at all. The trust was a revocable living trust, so already established and funded before death. In the waning years I helped the person transfer assets to the living trust. No signature guarantees required. After death the only hassles were for things that had not made it into the trust.
There are no problems with the way my parent's trust was written. The situation you describe where a grantor dies will trigger the transition of the trust from from revocable to irrevocable and I suspect the process is easier. My mess involves the the death of a co-trustee (my father) and the transition of trust registered accounts from the deceased's social security number to the living co-trustee's (my mother). Procedures at brokerage houses for trusts are complicated, burdensome and take a long time to navigate, and the customer service personnel at those institutions are ill equipped to answer questions and service trust accounts. My father's death required new trust accounts and an asset transfer from the old accounts to the new, because brokerage firms have policies that say that a new social security number requires a new account. Lawyers at brokerage houses have also decided that new trust registrations and trust changes require paper forms, notary stamps or medallion guarantees all sent by US mail, and after receipt by those firms, lengthy review by their legal department. This process is taking months to run its course and so far there's been not a single objection to the trust documents. It would have been a simple flag being thrown at these firms for a death involving a joint tenancy - transfer on death account. My mother lives a long distance away from me and she's elderly and the process has been insanely hard. A number of years ago I was a personal representative for an estate and had to work things through probate and it was child's play compared to all the nonsense that I've to do with this trust since my dad died --and that estate involved a decedent that died intestate (without a will). Ally bank is the exception with trusts and perhaps things will get better in the future at other places. My informed opinion is that lawyers are grossly overselling the benefits of revocable living trusts. Caveat Emptor. Shakespeare was right about lawyers :?
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Steelersfan
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Steelersfan »

Longruninvestor wrote: Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:42 pm My informed opinion is that lawyers are grossly overselling the benefits of revocable living trusts. Caveat Emptor. Shakespeare was right about lawyers :?
Bruce Steiner, perhaps our most knowledgeable poster on estate matters, has been saying that on this site for years, exempting just a few states.
afan
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by afan »

Longruninvestor,

So sorry to hear about those problems.
From what you report it may have been that you were dealing with multiple different brokers and transferring assets after the death? In my case all the assets titled in the name of the trust were held in one account at one broker. We got that done while the grantor was alive. Transferring assets from an account in the grantor's name to an account in the name of the trust was simple and no special signature verification needed.

After death the broker did change the account number to one for the now irrevocable trust and I did have to provide them a new TIN. The broker pointed me to the site to get the TIN and did all the other work.

Transferring the few things that I had not known about and did not make it into the trust during life was a bit more hassle. I had to get the death certificate. With that and filing the will I got the letters of administration. With those companies would recognize my right to transfer assets from the name of the decedent to the irrevocable trust. Getting the paperwork and doing the transfers took over a month. This would have been a problem if I had needed that money to pay current bills. Since almost all the money was already in the trust, that was not an issue.

Had there not been a trust that was funded during life I would have had to collect all those assets and get control of them before I could pay bills.

I also lived far away from the grantor. I would visit when I could to see that person, but handling the trust never required this.

One issue that did come up: bank accounts. The grantor had bank accounts outside of the trust and I had a DPOA. The banks, ALL of them, insisted that I come in person to a branch then refused to accept the DPOA. So I just had the grantor close those accounts and deposit the money in the trust account.

The one bank account that the grantor had in the name of the trust was no problem.

Another difference between our experiences may have been that I was already serving as trustee. The trustee did not change with the death of the grantor. Thus, there was no proving that I was the person who was named in the trust. That had been taken care of years earlier.

When I initially got involved the broker wanted a photocopy of my driver's license to prove I was who I claimed to be. I scanned that and filed it by email.

Among the things I did as I went through the process was to use my power to appoint a co trustee. I appointed my spouse and we shared the work of running things once we took over.

Probating the small residual estate took much more work than did taking over the trust although the trust held almost all the money.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
afan
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by afan »

Also possible that I just got lucky in that the single broker with which I was dealing had excellent customer service. They had a division that handled trusts and estates. They knew exactly what they were doing and did this all the time. This was one of the giant national firms and fully comfortable with doing things online, by email and telephone. Not once did they say I had to show up in person.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
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Longruninvestor
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Longruninvestor »

afan wrote: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:37 am In my case all the assets titled in the name of the trust were held in one account at one broker. We got that done while the grantor was alive. Transferring assets from an account in the grantor's name to an account in the name of the trust was simple and no special signature verification needed.


Bingo. I recommend that if someone is named as a successor trustee in a revocable living trust, that you consider doing the paperwork to be moved up to co-trustee status when the grantor(s)/other co-trustees are all alive, mentally and physically healthy and mobile. As far as signature verification goes, it's really about the policies in place at a particular brokerage or bank. My dad was a believer in not having all of his eggs in one or two baskets; and I worked with several firms and discovered that there is a lot of variation in signature requirements. For the sake of simplicity it was my desire to to consolidate the majority of the trust assets at one brokerage firm and my first choice was Vanguard. I filled out the Vanguard transfer forms and my mom and I tromped into Wells Fargo one day to get to Medallion stamp on the form, but the banker refused because the WF account wasn't a trust registration while the assets to be transferred were. Jane Smith <> Jane Smith TTEE. So it was either re-register the checking account to the trust and wait for all the paperwork to process and try again on the Medallion, or find a brokerage house that didn't require a Medallion. We chose the latter for this and other reasons.

This may might warrant a different thread, but I'm wondering if anyone has experience or special expertise with the estate closure process when there's a trust involved. I know after the grantor dies the successor trustee can sell the trust assets and distribute the proceeds to the trust beneficiaries without having to wrangle with the probate court on that distribution, and everything is kept out of the public record. But there must be something that has to be probate court approved, particularly making sure that creditors are given opportunity to make a claim on the estate. I've done some research and most states have a leaned-down informal probate for small estates, usually less than $50k --which presumably is THE reason why people create trusts. Has anyone followed this trail all the way to the end of the line? I'm not finding a lot of information on this topic other than a few high level guidance documents which direct an executor to use a simple sworn affidavit to collect the assets of the deceased --probably would be useful in transferring car titles so they can be sold.
8track
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by 8track »

Longruninvestor wrote: Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:04 pm Fidelity: F I file the electronic paperwork and include some text indicating that my parent's estate plan and all associated documents were prepared by a competent attorney. An email from Fidelity comes a few days later indicating that while they appreciate good estate planning that Fidelity considers account security to be paramount and I need to have my parents fill out their POA. My stamina is gone. I punt.

Charles Schwab: F. I called the Charles Schwab customer service line and after several long periods on hold with consult from several experts the rep concludes the path forward is to fill out a Charles Schwab POA and instructs me to have my parents sign it and get it notarized. That's tough to to do when my pops is in the hospital but the reps suggests I visit a Charles Schwab office for help. I don't know why this step would be helpful. Ironically my dad and I met his lawyer at a Charles Schwab estate planning seminar several years back. The rep from the local CS office said he was one of the best and encouraged attendees to consider him if we needed an attorney. Several members of my extended family did use him, and in fact, I was the personal representative for an estate that went through probate several years back. There were no issues. The POA worked fine. I punt again.

I realize this is a year-old thread but I thought I would relate my experiences yesterday regarding springing durable POAs with reps at both Fidelity and Schwab where my wife and I have our IRAs. As a bit of background: on the advice of my estate planning attorney I am considering naming a local financial fiduciary as "backup" POA for my wife's and my IRAs in the event that we both became incapacitated and could not fill that role for each other. (I'm not yet sure that I really want to do this but that is a topic for another post.) After reading this thread I was convinced that neither institution would accept a durable POA without the account owner's personal authorization in advance but I thought I would see what they had to say. So I called both Fido and Schwab in turn and asked them how to go about establishing a durable POA that would only take effect in the event of our incapacity, not before. After a good bit of internal consultations with their respective back offices they both said essentially the same thing: Fido and Schwab both will accept such a POA submitted by a third party as long as it is accompanied by a letter from an MD written on the doctor's official letterhead attesting to our incapacity. Fido also wants their proprietary POA form to be submitted; Schwab specifically said not to submit their proprietary POA form.

In theory they both claim to have processes to accept "springing" POAs after the account owner's incapacity. In practice, who knows. Getting a doctor to write a letter like that may be practically impossible from what I have heard.

Paul
afan
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by afan »

Long ago our attorney said not to use springing powers if we had any choice. He said that they lead to all sorts of problems proving that the springing event has occurred.

We use funded living trusts with co (not successor) trustees. Same people have DPOA and health care proxy. We each have poa, using the company forms, for retirement accounts.

When I settled one estate i was already trustee of the living trust. When the grantor died and the trust became irrevocable I did have to get a new TIN and fill out a form. The broker took care of everything else. There was no drama. I don't remember how long it took but not long enough to hold up anything.

I am very glad I had not been named joint owner of anything and none of the taxable accounts were POD. That would have been one more mess to unwind.
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bsteiner
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by bsteiner »

afan wrote: Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:49 am Long ago our attorney said not to use springing powers if we had any choice. He said that they lead to all sorts of problems proving that the springing event has occurred.

We use funded living trusts with co (not successor) trustees. ....
...
I am very glad I had not been named joint owner of anything and none of the taxable accounts were POD. That would have been one more mess to unwind.
You are correct that with a springing power you have to prove that the condition has occurred. Depending on the condition, that may be easy or difficult to prove.

You are also correct that if you're creating a revocable trust as a substitute for a power of attorney, it helps to have the other person as a co-trustee. Otherwise it's like a springing power of attorney -- you have to do something later on to make the other person a trustee, which might or might not be easy, depending on the circumstances and the terms of the trust. (I haven't had as much difficulty with powers of attorney as some people. They've become pretty common over the last 25 or so years. It's helpful to give them to the financial institutions sooner rather than later so you can work out any kinks while you're able to do so.)

Joint accounts, TOD and POD are sometimes appropriate, but they can defeat the estate plan. They can also result in litigation. In one estate, every account was either joint or had a TOD designation. There was an issue as to his capacity. Unlike a Will where the issue would have been his capacity on the day he signed his Will, in the case of the TOD designations, there was a separate issue as to his capacity on the date of each designation.
frank11
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by frank11 »

I used a POA at several institutions and never had a problem.
BigJohn
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by BigJohn »

I received the same advice from my estate attorney about the difficulty of using a springing POA. I didn’t want to leave my sister/kids with the task of trying to prove the spring had sprung so I just went with a durable POA. Since it can be used anytime, you obviously have to name people you really trust but that seemed better than the alternative to me.
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan" - Carl Von Clausewitz
SpideyIndexer
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by SpideyIndexer »

Has anyone activated a DPOA at T.R. Price?

Going through the process with two investment firms and several annuity firms. They seem to be much more of a hassle than banks have been.
RetiredArtist
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by RetiredArtist »

BigJohn wrote: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:22 pm
fourwheelcycle wrote: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:10 pm Vanguard - A
Hard to walk into the Vanguard office since it is over 300 miles away. However, my Vanguard reps, one when I was caring for my aunt and another more recently when I began managing my father's finances, guided us through all the necessary steps and set up new accounts in my aunt's name and later in my father's name, with me having full account transaction authority. My recollection is that in both cases we had to fill out Vanguard's forms and attach the executed POAs, but I am not sure on all the details. In any event, I consolidated the bulk of both my aunt's and my father's savings at Vanguard, with their accounts as part of my family of accounts.
I'm surprised by this unless VG has changed their process. When I worked this 2 - 3 years ago for my wife with Alzheimer's, they required a notarized signature on their form. This became an issue as she was incapable of having a signature notarized at that point. Sending them the DPOA was never asked for and when I offered it I was told that I could send but still needed a notarized signature on VG's form.
It was crucial to get Full Agent Authorization with Vanguard while our relative was healthy & compos mentis. (Same for POA's.) The notaries, quite properly, would quiz our relative, to be sure they understood what they were signing.

If I had it to do again, I would collect proprietary POA's from each entity, including medical providers, and have them signed & notarized all at once. The estate attorney didn't have an inkling that his POA's might not be accepted.

It was also super helpful to have a joint checking account with our relative that was outside the trust.
HomeStretch
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by HomeStretch »

Agree that it can be an ordeal for banks, financial institutions, insurers, etc. to recognize DPOAs and, when recognized, to allow the Attorney-in-fact (AIF) to act on their behalf to the full extent of the powers granted under an attorney-drafted DPOA.

My experience with DPOAs at Fidelity was much better than yours.

I am AIF for both parents and manage their daily finances and taxes. I recently had to make some changes to separate my parents’ bank and investment accounts in connection with a Title XIX application for my dad (bedridden with severe dementia in a skilled nursing facility (SNF)). Here’s my report card:

(1) Bank of America - F - despite being AIF and joint owner on my parents’ joint account, BoA refuses to allow me to remove my mom and me from the bank account unless my dad appears with us at a local office or a notary goes into the SNF for my dad to sign a form. Can’t happen.

(2) Vanguard - F (because they don’t have a CMA) and B for everything else - luckily the Full Agent (FA) Forms on file for my parents’ existing accounts are an old version that prospectively includes new accounts that are opened after the date of the FA Forms. V’s new FA Form does not include accounts prospectively. Set up new individual accounts. They do not appear as authorized accounts in my online access. Call Vanguard, on the line for an hour with several depts, new accounts gets manually added to my online access view. Great. Oops, forgot to set up one account, do so, call back. CSR insists a new FAF is needed. Once I point out the prospective FAF language, CSR insists I need to wait 90 days and call back for the authorized account to be added to my online view. I remain insistent that this is not correct. After 2-1/2 hours, the CSR gets it added to my view.

Fidelity - F for understanding an AIF’s powers for a CMA account and A for everything else - decide to move their banking and investments to Fidelity. I set up new CMA and investment accounts online for my parents without issue. Bring their attorney-drafted DPOAs to the local office with a Fidelity cover form and they notarize my signature (the form does not require either parent to sign, just the AIF). The CSRs assure me that an AIF can use CMA Bill Pay, set up bank links/transfers, make transfers. Not true. CSRs finally stop reading to me from the Bill Pay manual and admit that since it’s not a true Fidelity account (UMB is the CMA bank) that they don’t really know the CMA/AIF interaction that well. Had to complete paperwork to add myself as a joint owner to each CMA.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
HomeStretch
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by HomeStretch »

Medicare, Social Security, IRS and my state tax authority do not recognize attorney-drafted DPOAs. They have time-consuming processes to get recognized as someone’s authorized agent.

Be sure each parent has an online account set up with each of those entities and that you have the password for each of the accounts as well as their email accounts. Without access to their online account or going through the process of becoming an authorized representative, you can’t do routine things - for example, change the bank where your parent’s SS is being deposited. I learned this the hard way after setting up a new bank account for my dad.
Fremdon Ferndock
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Fremdon Ferndock »

The problem I've got with Vanguard is that I've been told by them that they won't honor my attorney-prepared DPOA. I don't want to expose myself or my DPOA to the hassle and expense of challenging that if/when the time comes. So, the alternative is to submit Vanguard's proprietary Agent Authorization Form; but the problem is that it only allows you to name a single Agent and not co-Agents or successor Agents. If I'm lying in a coma or an Alzheimer's facility somewhere and the single Agent I named is unable to serve, just what am I supposed to do? This is about as nutty as I hope I don't get in my senile-hood.
"Risk is what’s left over when you think you’ve thought of everything." ~ Morgan Housel
HomeStretch
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by HomeStretch »

Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pm … So, the alternative is to submit Vanguard's proprietary Agent Authorization Form; but the problem is that it only allows you to name a single Agent and not co-Agents or successor Agents. …
Is this part accurate?

I ask because my sibling and I are both full agents (acting severally, so not true co-agents) on our parents’ Vanguard accounts. This was set up 7-10 years ago (after Vanguard refused to accept their attorney-drafted DPOAs similar to your experience) so perhaps the Full Agent form has changed. Their accounts are being transferred to Fidelity which does currently allow more than one full agent per account.
Kagord
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Kagord »

The estate planning attorney we use said it usually gets quite nasty to force an institution to accept a properly prepared POA, and that you will likely eventually prevail after some back and forths between your attorney and the institution's legal team. It's really quite asinine, considering the whole point of the POA is to make this transition easy, and not have the time and legal expanse associated with the enforcement of one.
Fremdon Ferndock
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Fremdon Ferndock »

HomeStretch wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:42 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pm … So, the alternative is to submit Vanguard's proprietary Agent Authorization Form; but the problem is that it only allows you to name a single Agent and not co-Agents or successor Agents. …
Is this part accurate?

I ask because my sibling and I are both full agents (acting severally, so not true co-agents) on our parents’ Vanguard accounts. This was set up 7-10 years ago (after Vanguard refused to accept their attorney-drafted DPOAs similar to your experience) so perhaps the Full Agent form has changed. Their accounts are being transferred to Fidelity which does currently allow more than one full agent per account.
It is confusing, because the Agent Authorization Form only provides for one agent to be named. However, it may be the case that more than one Agent Authorization Form can be submitted which would enable multiple agents. Need to check because that's not evident. There does not appear to be any way to name successor Agents, which does not fit my situation very well because I don't desire for anyone but my primary agent to have authority to manage my account unless the primary agent is unable.
"Risk is what’s left over when you think you’ve thought of everything." ~ Morgan Housel
cas
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by cas »

HomeStretch wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:42 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pm … So, the alternative is to submit Vanguard's proprietary Agent Authorization Form; but the problem is that it only allows you to name a single Agent and not co-Agents or successor Agents. …
Is this part accurate?

I ask because my sibling and I are both full agents (acting severally, so not true co-agents) on our parents’ Vanguard accounts. This was set up 7-10 years ago [ . . .] so perhaps the Full Agent form has changed.
More than one full agent (acting severally) is still possible. I helped someone fill out the Vanguard full agent form just this past week, and there are very clear instructions on how to add more than one agent on the form itself.

Where it *isn't* clear is on the supposedly helpful fill-in-the-blank-electronic front end to the form. But once you get to the end of that, and it gives you the filled in pdf of the actual form, it is very clear.
Fremdon Ferndock
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Fremdon Ferndock »

cas wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:04 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:42 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pm … So, the alternative is to submit Vanguard's proprietary Agent Authorization Form; but the problem is that it only allows you to name a single Agent and not co-Agents or successor Agents. …
Is this part accurate?

I ask because my sibling and I are both full agents (acting severally, so not true co-agents) on our parents’ Vanguard accounts. This was set up 7-10 years ago [ . . .] so perhaps the Full Agent form has changed.
More than one full agent (acting severally) is still possible. I helped someone fill out the Vanguard full agent form just this past week, and there are very clear instructions on how to add more than one agent on the form itself.

Where it *isn't* clear is on the supposedly helpful fill-in-the-blank-electronic front end to the form. But once you get to the end of that, and it gives you the filled in pdf of the actual form, it is very clear.
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
"Risk is what’s left over when you think you’ve thought of everything." ~ Morgan Housel
cas
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by cas »

Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:14 pm
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
They have to sign the form and acknowledge the request to become the full authorized agent for someone. (There is a listing of their duties and responsibilities, basically describing being a fiduciary.)

And, if they are a Vanguard client with online access, they'll immediately be able to see and transact on your account from their login. (There is a sentence on the form that authorized agents who are not Vanguard clients should call a listed Vanguard number to "review their options for online access.")

Have you tried going to the "Add or Remove Access to Your Account" area at Vanguard (type something like "add access" once you are logged in)? One of the first pages has a "Compare Levels of Access" link. If you haven't reviewed that already, you might find it interesting.
Last edited by cas on Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BigJohn
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by BigJohn »

Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:14 pm
cas wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:04 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:42 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pm … So, the alternative is to submit Vanguard's proprietary Agent Authorization Form; but the problem is that it only allows you to name a single Agent and not co-Agents or successor Agents. …
Is this part accurate?

I ask because my sibling and I are both full agents (acting severally, so not true co-agents) on our parents’ Vanguard accounts. This was set up 7-10 years ago [ . . .] so perhaps the Full Agent form has changed.
More than one full agent (acting severally) is still possible. I helped someone fill out the Vanguard full agent form just this past week, and there are very clear instructions on how to add more than one agent on the form itself.

Where it *isn't* clear is on the supposedly helpful fill-in-the-blank-electronic front end to the form. But once you get to the end of that, and it gives you the filled in pdf of the actual form, it is very clear.
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
To each his/her own but I think it’s bad form to name someone without their knowledge. Doing the work that might be required under some circumstances isn’t trivial. How do you know they are even willing to accept the responsibility?
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan" - Carl Von Clausewitz
Fremdon Ferndock
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Fremdon Ferndock »

BigJohn wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:19 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:14 pm
cas wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:04 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:42 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:31 pm … So, the alternative is to submit Vanguard's proprietary Agent Authorization Form; but the problem is that it only allows you to name a single Agent and not co-Agents or successor Agents. …
Is this part accurate?

I ask because my sibling and I are both full agents (acting severally, so not true co-agents) on our parents’ Vanguard accounts. This was set up 7-10 years ago [ . . .] so perhaps the Full Agent form has changed.
More than one full agent (acting severally) is still possible. I helped someone fill out the Vanguard full agent form just this past week, and there are very clear instructions on how to add more than one agent on the form itself.

Where it *isn't* clear is on the supposedly helpful fill-in-the-blank-electronic front end to the form. But once you get to the end of that, and it gives you the filled in pdf of the actual form, it is very clear.
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
To each his/her own but I think it’s bad form to name someone without their knowledge. Doing the work that might be required under some circumstances isn’t trivial. How do you know they are even willing to accept the responsibility?
Well, I was planning to be informing/asking them to be DPOA - just not informing them that they had immediate rights to access my account. If Vanguard had a decent policy, I could rely on my attorney-prepared DPOA which designates them as contingent Agents and I wouldn't have to be worrying about this subterfuge.
"Risk is what’s left over when you think you’ve thought of everything." ~ Morgan Housel
Fremdon Ferndock
Posts: 552
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Fremdon Ferndock »

cas wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:11 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:14 pm
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
They have to sign the form and acknowledge the request to become the full authorized agent for someone. (There is a listing of their duties and responsibilities, basically describing being a fiduciary.)

And, if they are a Vanguard client with online access, they'll immediately be able to see and transact on your account from their login. (There is a sentence on the form that authorized agents who are not Vanguard clients should call a listed Vanguard number to "review their options for online access.")

Have you tried going to the "Add or Remove Access to Your Account" area at Vanguard (type something like "add access" once you are logged in)? One of the first pages has a "Compare Levels of Access" link. If you haven't reviewed that already, you might find it interesting.
Thanks. I was hoping that might be a solution, but here's what it says:
If you'd like to grant someone access to your accounts, you can do so online as long as the person is an existing Vanguard client and registered on vanguard.com. To set up access, you'll need one of the individual's Vanguard account numbers.
Don't think that's what I'm looking for.
"Risk is what’s left over when you think you’ve thought of everything." ~ Morgan Housel
BigJohn
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Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by BigJohn »

Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:32 pm
BigJohn wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:19 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:14 pm
cas wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:04 pm
HomeStretch wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 2:42 pm

Is this part accurate?

I ask because my sibling and I are both full agents (acting severally, so not true co-agents) on our parents’ Vanguard accounts. This was set up 7-10 years ago [ . . .] so perhaps the Full Agent form has changed.
More than one full agent (acting severally) is still possible. I helped someone fill out the Vanguard full agent form just this past week, and there are very clear instructions on how to add more than one agent on the form itself.

Where it *isn't* clear is on the supposedly helpful fill-in-the-blank-electronic front end to the form. But once you get to the end of that, and it gives you the filled in pdf of the actual form, it is very clear.
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
To each his/her own but I think it’s bad form to name someone without their knowledge. Doing the work that might be required under some circumstances isn’t trivial. How do you know they are even willing to accept the responsibility?
Well, I was planning to be informing/asking them to be DPOA - just not informing them that they had immediate rights to access my account. If Vanguard had a decent policy, I could rely on my attorney-prepared DPOA which designates them as contingent Agents and I wouldn't have to be worrying about this subterfuge.
Having contingent agents was my initial plan for my attorney drafted DPOAs. However my estate attorney walked me through the complications and potential issues. First you need to predetermine under what conditions it becomes valid. Then someone has to judge whether those conditions are met or not. This is the tricky part as you may or may not be able to do so and neither may you primary agent. I became convinced that this could potentially create a situation where I might have no one able to act on my behalf. I honestly can’t blame VG or any financial institution for nor wanting to get in the middle of trying to determine if/when the contingent person has become a valid agent.
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan" - Carl Von Clausewitz
Fremdon Ferndock
Posts: 552
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2021 12:26 pm

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by Fremdon Ferndock »

BigJohn wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:04 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:32 pm
BigJohn wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:19 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:14 pm
cas wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:04 pm

More than one full agent (acting severally) is still possible. I helped someone fill out the Vanguard full agent form just this past week, and there are very clear instructions on how to add more than one agent on the form itself.

Where it *isn't* clear is on the supposedly helpful fill-in-the-blank-electronic front end to the form. But once you get to the end of that, and it gives you the filled in pdf of the actual form, it is very clear.
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
To each his/her own but I think it’s bad form to name someone without their knowledge. Doing the work that might be required under some circumstances isn’t trivial. How do you know they are even willing to accept the responsibility?
Well, I was planning to be informing/asking them to be DPOA - just not informing them that they had immediate rights to access my account. If Vanguard had a decent policy, I could rely on my attorney-prepared DPOA which designates them as contingent Agents and I wouldn't have to be worrying about this subterfuge.
Having contingent agents was my initial plan for my attorney drafted DPOAs. However my estate attorney walked me through the complications and potential issues. First you need to predetermine under what conditions it becomes valid. Then someone has to judge whether those conditions are met or not. This is the tricky part as you may or may not be able to do so and neither may you primary agent. I became convinced that this could potentially create a situation where I might have no one able to act on my behalf. I honestly can’t blame VG or any financial institution for nor wanting to get in the middle of trying to determine if/when the contingent person has become a valid agent.
I guess it depends on which attorney you're talking to. Here's what mine said about the matter:
All the questions you ask are common circumstances that arise when designating agents and successor agents. I have rarely, if ever, seen actual issues arise with such designations in a properly drafted and executed POA. Logic and reason control, if not the express language of the document. A death certificate, a written declination to serve, and/or an affidavit is typically sufficient to resolve any issues. Companies are not particularly interested in investigating underlying circumstance, they just wish to document their files reflecting the Agent's authority.
My own opinion is that Vanguard just doesn't want to spend the dime on handling your customized DPOA so they make you use their cookie-cutter one. They do the same thing with beneficiary designations. Has nothing to do with their "good intentions" IMO.
"Risk is what’s left over when you think you’ve thought of everything." ~ Morgan Housel
BigJohn
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:27 pm

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by BigJohn »

Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:20 pm
BigJohn wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:04 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:32 pm
BigJohn wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 8:19 pm
Fremdon Ferndock wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 6:14 pm
Do all the named Agents have to acknowledge to Vanguard; in other words will they all know they are Authorized Agents or can you avoid disclosing this to them if you wish? As I said, I'd be more comfortable not granting explicit POA to everyone unless and until it becomes necessary.
To each his/her own but I think it’s bad form to name someone without their knowledge. Doing the work that might be required under some circumstances isn’t trivial. How do you know they are even willing to accept the responsibility?
Well, I was planning to be informing/asking them to be DPOA - just not informing them that they had immediate rights to access my account. If Vanguard had a decent policy, I could rely on my attorney-prepared DPOA which designates them as contingent Agents and I wouldn't have to be worrying about this subterfuge.
Having contingent agents was my initial plan for my attorney drafted DPOAs. However my estate attorney walked me through the complications and potential issues. First you need to predetermine under what conditions it becomes valid. Then someone has to judge whether those conditions are met or not. This is the tricky part as you may or may not be able to do so and neither may you primary agent. I became convinced that this could potentially create a situation where I might have no one able to act on my behalf. I honestly can’t blame VG or any financial institution for nor wanting to get in the middle of trying to determine if/when the contingent person has become a valid agent.
I guess it depends on which attorney you're talking to. Here's what mine said about the matter:
All the questions you ask are common circumstances that arise when designating agents and successor agents. I have rarely, if ever, seen actual issues arise with such designations in a properly drafted and executed POA. Logic and reason control, if not the express language of the document. A death certificate, a written declination to serve, and/or an affidavit is typically sufficient to resolve any issues. Companies are not particularly interested in investigating underlying circumstance, they just wish to document their files reflecting the Agent's authority.
My own opinion is that Vanguard just doesn't want to spend the dime on handling your customized DPOA so they make you use their cookie-cutter one. They do the same thing with beneficiary designations. Has nothing to do with their "good intentions" IMO.
Never said they had “good intention”, just an understandable business IMO. And clearly they aren’t alone if you read this post above.
HomeStretch wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:14 am Medicare, Social Security, IRS and my state tax authority do not recognize attorney-drafted DPOAs. They have time-consuming processes to get recognized as someone’s authorized agent.
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan" - Carl Von Clausewitz
BigJohn
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:27 pm

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by BigJohn »

Also, lots of other examples here…

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt ... 5#p2987615
Last edited by BigJohn on Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan" - Carl Von Clausewitz
BigJohn
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:27 pm

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by BigJohn »

Delete duplicate post
"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan" - Carl Von Clausewitz
gavinsiu
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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:42 pm

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

Post by gavinsiu »

My experience with Wells Fargo has not been good. I tried to set up a POA for my mom's account so I can help her with stuff, Well Fargo suggested that I be added as a co-owner because it would be less paperwork, which I rejected. They then had me fill out some paper forms. All of this had to be done at a bank.

This had to be done multiple times. I would call and they would tell me that the POA was incorrect. I would then have to return to the bank and redo the forms.

My experience with Schwab have been more positive and I didn't have to show up at a brick and mortar place.
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