Joint power of attorney: What legal grounds does a bank have?

This is a discussion on Joint power of attorney: What legal grounds does a bank have? within the Wills, Trusts, Estates forum, part of the Other Family Law Matters category; Our parents had executed a co-durable power of attorney naming me and my sister as joint attorney. Father has died ...

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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 01:17 AM   #1
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Default Joint power of attorney: What legal grounds does a bank have?

Our parents had executed a co-durable power of attorney naming me and my sister as joint attorney. Father has died and now the mother is the owner of an investment portfolio with monthly dividends being automatically reinvested. We (me and sister) wish to have the dividends placed into mother's checking account so that I may utilize the funds for monthly fees. But banks doing business in Washington (our state) will not honor the 'power of attorney' because it is a 'joint' power of attorney. What legal grounds does a bank have to deny us using a power of attorney?
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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 02:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Joint power of attorney: What legal grounds does a bank have?

While banks are known to refuse to accept powers of attorney for no good reason; in your case it sounds like the bank may have a point. If the power of attorney does not specify that; you and your sister can each act as your own, then the bank could only honor checks signed by both of you. Again if the bank is refusing to act then you can contact the state agency that regulates banks to see if it will apply some pressure on your behalf. Good Luck!
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Old Oct 12th, 2010, 08:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Joint power of attorney: What legal grounds does a bank have?

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Our parents had executed a co-durable power of attorney naming me and my sister as joint attorney. Father has died and now the mother is the owner of an investment portfolio with monthly dividends being automatically reinvested. We (me and sister) wish to have the dividends placed into mother's checking account so that I may utilize the funds for monthly fees. But banks doing business in Washington (our state) will not honor the 'power of attorney' because it is a 'joint' power of attorney. What legal grounds does a bank have to deny us using a power of attorney?
There is absolutely no law that even states any bank or any other company/organization has to accept any POA, regardless of whether it's a joint one or not. It is the sole discretion of the bank to honor said POA's or not.

A POA is not really a legally binding document. It's merely wishes of the person giving it and that is it. There is no law that states anyone has to accept it just because it's made out. It is strictly a courtesy if any bank honors one.

If your mother is of good health, reasonably available to do her own banking, you cannot exercise the POA anyway. It's unclear what "monthly fees" you need to pay with her money, but you best be talking about her monthly fees and not yours.
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