Because fraud is on the rise, financial institutions are becoming increasingly finicky about General Durable Power of Attorney (GDPOA) documents. The GDPOA documents that we write at Roberson Law are usually 11 pages long in order to cover all of the bases, yet there are instances when we are still asked to provide additional substantiation to a bank that a GDPOA is valid.
In addition, some financial institutions have their own proprietary GDPOA documents that are specifically written by their corporation’s legal department, and the financial institution won’t accept a GDPOA document prepared by anyone else. That is why we suggest that you contact your bank, credit union, investment company, or other financial institution and ask them if they have their own GDPOA document that can be used if they will not accept the GDPOA prepared by your attorney.
In the case of GDPOAs, the best defense is a proactive approach to identifying and addressing potential issues with the document. We have encouraged our clients for several years to review and update their GDPOAs every five years to ensure that the agents named continue to be best choices for our clients and to promote third party acceptance due to the document's age.
In addition, if your GDPOA was executed before 2012, this would be a good time for you to review and update your GDPOA to take advantage of the changes in the law that occurred in the Ohio Revised Code in March 2012 in an effort to improve the usefulness of powers of attorney and offer additional safeguards against abuse by the agent appointed in the GDPOA.
As many of our clients already know, a comprehensive GDPOA is an effective estate planning tool to authorize another person to act on one’s behalf in the event of disability or incapacity and to avoid costly and painstaking legal measures, such as a guardianship, that may be necessary without a GDPOA in place.