Will Wells Fargo Accept Your DPOA?

Will Wells Fargo Accept Your DPOA?

Having a roadmap to your assets along with a back up plan should your durable power of attorney be refused is now something every adult should do.

Dealing with Dementia

wellsfargoAs I began to use the Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) several years ago, I found out that many banks don’t like them. They would prefer you use the one they supply that doesn’t give you control over when it goes into effect or a way to dictate specific wishes. If and when you need to use one, you will find that getting them to accept it, can take hours in the bank and then possibly weeks to months to resolve issues.

Last month, I went in to clear up two checking accounts and remove my Dad’s name the accounts. It took over two hours to have it processed and the two accounts cleaned up. I was already listed on my parents major account, so I think they weren’t so worried about giving my access and POA rights over the second smaller checking account.

However, I have hit a major…

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Can the Law Keep Up With Our Modern LifeStyle?

After having to step in and use a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) to assist my parents, I quickly found so many gaps in its functionality, I devised many work arounds with my Dad so I could help them.

Not only were we surprised to find that a number of financial institutions declined to accept the DPOA, but there are many facets of our digital lives that it doesn’t cover.

moderntechoptionsFor those of us who use online services, email accounts and enjoy the online bill-pay services provided by our banks, what we don’t know can hurt us. If you haven’t stopped to read the “terms and conditions” you accepted, they typically state you can’t share the account and the provider basically dictates the rules. If you are incapacitated, the only way a loved one can get access is if you share your username and passcode.

The Uniform Law Commission helps standardize state laws and recently endorsed a plan that would give loved ones access to — but not control of — the deceased’s digital accounts, unless specified otherwise in a will. Given that at the age of 65, 7 out of 10 American’s will need 3 or more years of long-term care, we must recognize that most people will need someone to have access to these accounts while we are alive.

If you don’t have a list that documents this information for your own benefit and that can provide loved ones with needed information, click here to download a free chapter called “Taming the Internet” from the Amazon best-seller MemoryBanc: Your Workbook for Organizing Life that includes worksheets and details on how you can provide loved ones with the information they may need to help you.

 

Using a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)

My parents did what the estate lawyer recommended. As well as the financial planner and insurance professional. However, when the time came for me to step in and help them using their Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), things were a little more difficult that we all expected.

One of the major firms told me they would not accept a DPOA that was over two years old; a second told me they didn’t accept ones more than five years old. It happens though it shouldn’t, and sometimes you may need the lawyer who drafted the agreement to pursue it for you.

Legal tools alone won’t handle every situation. However, every adult should consider meeting with an estate lawyer to discuss your needs.  Because of my experience, I recommend that even those with estate plans take the extra step of documenting their information. For the estimated bulk of Americans without any estate plans (power of attorney, medical directives, will) , for your own best-interest, you should get your documents, accounts, and assets organized.

In my case, my dad sat down with me and we created online access to many of their accounts from their retirement to utilities, so that I could easily help pay bills, manage cash flow, their household and finances.

Are you prepared? If not, my free gift to you is a list of the items you need to document, download it here.

To get a copy of the award-winning system to help you collect and organize your documents, accounts, and assets, you can order a copy from Amazon, BAM!, or Barnes & Noble.  For $17.95, MemoryBanc: Your Workbook for Organizing Life will not only help you easily find your important information, but will give a road map to a loved one who you may need to step in and help, if even only temporarily.

Isn’t a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) All I Need?

While I believe the DPOA is important for any adult over 18 years of age to have in place, there is no one-stop solution. Because most people will need someone to step in and help them during their adult life, if even only for a few weeks, in addition to having the DPOA, they will need to know how to step in and help, and that is why a solution like MemoryBanc is a necessity.

The DPOA was the most important document I held that allowed me to help my parents when their health started to fail. Some institutions readily accepted it when I provided a copy, and I was quickly added to their accounts.

However, in several cases it was very difficult to use. Even though my state (Virginia) has a statute requiring institutions to accept the document. In my case, one financial institution would not accept it because it was more than two years old and a second refused because it was more than five years old. Some institutions took several months and repeated phone calls before I was granted the ability to act on my parent’s behalf.

If you don’t have a durable power of attorney, you can request and complete the “power of attorney” form from the specific financial institution. These forms are designed to allow account holders to define individuals and access rights. You will have to complete one from each institution for access, and these immediately take effect. But if someone is incapacitated, it will be too late to go this route. These documents require a notary to validate identification, and the signer will need to be alert and have decision-making capacity.

An invaluable safeguard is to use a system like MemoryBanc to record the locations of your documents, details on your accounts, and assets. This system  provides loved ones with a roadmap to assist you should help ever be needed.

Celebrities Illustrate the Good, Bad and Ugly in Life Planning

The Forbes story The 10 Biggest Celebrity Estate Stories Of 2014 And What You Can Learn illustrate good planning, bad planning and the ugly side of family feuds after a loved one dies.

From complicated family issues for Robin Williams, to misinformation about “trust fund kids” by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, it’s easy to stop and gawk. However, it’s reported that more than half of all American’s die without a will.

I’m lucky that my parents shared their wishes with me and my siblings and completed their estate plans well before we needed to use the tools created.

When you turn 65 years old, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you have a 70 percent chance of needing 3 or more years of long-term care. You will be on this earth and need someone to advocate for you, pay your bills, manage your household and ensure that you live the life the way you wish.

If you do nothing else, contact a local estate lawyer about a Durable Power of Attorney. It should cost a few hundred dollars and will prove to be priceless in the very likely event that you need it.

Don’t repeat the mistakes of the rich and famous. Deliver the ultimate gift to your loved ones by planning now.

Sharing MY DPOA & Estate Plan Wishes

This past weekend, I sat down with my brother and my kids and walked them through the estate plan my husband and I recently had updated. It wasn’t doomy or gloomy since we are in good health. It just resulted in peace of mind for my kids to know our plans and we made sure that everyone knows where they can find our completed MemoryBanc Register, and the original copies of all of our important documents.

I wanted to share this as a follow-up to last weeks post discussing the importance of having a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA).

If you don’t already know this, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 7 out of 10 of us will need long-term care assistance for at least 3 years. The difficulty a loved one faces when you don’t have a DPOA can be expensive, undignified and lengthy.

I hope you will consider speaking with a lawyer dedicated to the practice of estate law in your area. You should be able to get one for just a few hundred dollars.