Monthly Archives: November 2017

Is a power attorney of attorney enough?

Is A Power Of Attorney Enough?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document giving someone, known as the “agent”, the authority to handle financial and legal matters for the person who creates the Power of Attorney, called the “principal”.  A Power of Attorney can be limited: an elderly mother gives her son Limited Power of Attorney to handle the sale of her house.  A Power of Attorney can be general, giving the agent broad authority to handle all financial and legal matters.

A Power of Attorney is an important part of an estate plan, but unfortunately, families are being frustrated trying to use them.  Banks and financial institutions will often refuse to honor a Power of Attorney.  They may reject it because it’s too old. There’s no way of knowing how old is too old. A financial institution recently rejected a Power of Attorney that was thirteen months old. Very commonly, they insist that their customer sign a new Power of Attorney using the institution’s own Power of Attorney form.

Families usually don’t try to use a Power of Attorney until the principal is no longer able to manage, and at that point, may be incompetent to sign legal forms.  What happens if the bank says the Power of Attorney is too old, or they simply won’t accept one that isn’t on their own form, but the principal isn’t legally competent to sign a new one?

Sometimes it requires going above local managers to higher-ups, and sometimes it requires the intervention of an attorney.

It is wise these days to be proactive, and make sure that the bank or brokerage firm will honor the Power of Attorney while the principal still has capacity.  That can be daunting if the principal has accounts at multiple institutions.

If the principal is elderly, or if there are signs of dementia, another approach is to include a Trust in the estate plan, rather than relying on a Power of Attorney.  A valid Trust will be accepted no matter how old it is, and the financial institution isn’t going to have its own form for a Trust.

Are you wondering what is exactly right for you and your needs?  Attend one of our Free Workshops to educate yourself on how you can protect your stuff in 3 easy steps.  We invite you to register today and take the first step in knowing the right documents you need to protect you and your loved ones.

Thank you and give back and be charitable

Thank you!

We are so very grateful that we have clients that have entrusted us to provide them with sound legal advice and guidance in the areas of trusts, estates, elder law, Medicaid, veteran’s benefits and/or business transactions.  

Our firm believes in giving back.  So we have made a donation, made possible by our clients, to North Fulton Community Charities.  This is a charity we love to support as they directly impact our local community. In 2016 North Fulton Community Charities helped over 10,000 individuals and provided over $1.1 million in emergency financial assistance. They assisted over 1,200 adults in obtaining workforce readiness and life skills, and kept over 1,900 families in their homes.  If you would also like to make a donation to this charity, please visit them by clicking the button below.

North Fulton Community Charities


We wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!