The title of this article is a common misconception that people have about avoiding probate. A person will assume that just because he has been designated as his parent's Agent in his parent's Power of Attorney (POA) that he will have access to his parent's bank account after the parent dies. The person will incorrectly assume that having his name listed on his parent's account will be enough to avoid probate.
I'm writing this after meeting with yet another client who was surprised, upon seeing his birth certificate for the first time, that the name he was using was not the same as the name in his birth certificate.
For example, my friend Betty Schwab, who is also a client, thought her name was Elizabeth until she got her birth certificate and discovered that her birth name is Betty. (I am giving this example with Betty's permission.)
This has happened with clients whose names are Allen/Alan, Joseph/Joe, and William/Bill/Billy, for example.
Financial institutions are becoming increasingly finicky about General Durable Power of Attorney (GDPOA) documents. The GDPOA documents that we write at Roberson Law are 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.
Banks, brokerage firms, and investment companies are cracking down on the policies pertaining to a person's use of a General Durable Power of Attorney (GDPOA) to conduct account changes or transactions on behalf of the account holder. Changing beneficiary designations can be an integral part of estate planning, and the task of doing so is sometimes executed by a person other than the actual account holder.
As many of our clients already know, a comprehensive general durable power of attorney is an effective estate planning tool to authorize another person to act on one’s behalf in the event of disability or incapacity. In an effort to improve the usefulness of a power of attorney (“POA”), the laws regarding powers of attorney under the Ohio Revised Code were revised in March of 2012, in order to offer additional safeguards against abuse by the agent appointed in the POA and encourage third party acceptance.
The Ohio Statutory Forms for the Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) and Living Will have been updated for the first time since 2010. Three significant changes have impacted the new forms.
Although Ohio law does not limit the age of a Power of Attorney (POA), financial
institutions often enforce their own rules about this document.
Unfortunately, because Ohio has no law requiring any business to accept a Power
of Attorney, some banks, financial institutions, and real estate closing agents
may refuse to accept a Power of Attorney due to its age.