What are the limitations of powers of attorney?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2021 | Estate Planning | 0 comments

Many people in Oregon don’t realize that it’s possible for some institutions to deny their power of attorney. If you don’t re-execute the form on an annual basis, your agent may experience difficulties in attempting to perform their duties on your behalf. Financial institutions have concerns about fraud and abuse, and courts have sided with them on legal battles.

Recency of the power of attorney

In response to the problem of elder abuse, which often includes financial abuse, financial firms have made it more difficult for agents with power of attorney to take action. You will have to check the policies of the financial firms you hold accounts with. Some of them only acknowledge a power of attorney if you authorized that person within 60 days. Others have a longer period of six months.

It’s cumbersome to have to sign the document every 60 days, so you can try to find another solution. Some financial firms allow a longer period of time if you have the document certified by a bank officer.

Where you sign the power of attorney

Residency of your power of attorney can present problems with financial institutions too. Some don’t accept agents from another state. Where you execute the power of attorney matters to some financial institutions as well; some won’t accept a POA executed in a state that’s not your residence.

Any limitations you place on them

When you grant the right to make decisions on your behalf to someone, you must specify clearly what they can and can’t do. An estate planning lawyer may help you carefully think it out to determine what’s best for you. You could have one agent who handles your health care decisions and another who manages your finances. It doesn’t have to be just one person in charge of all the decisions.

Signing a power of attorney document isn’t enough to protect yourself. You need to check the policies of your financial institutions to ensure that they will recognize the document.