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How to Handle Resistance to POA – Part 1

       I have written several posts over the years on the importance of powers of attorney and the problems many people encounter when trying to use them. It seems that as time has passed the problems have only increased in frequency. Just this past week we received two calls from family members serving as agent under a power of attorney for a loved one.

       When presenting the POA to a bank or other financial institution many agents experience resistance. Often the financial institution will insist on the principal – the person who has signed the power of attorney – to be present. But if the principal can’t appear in person, which is increasingly the case as the population ages, does that mean the power of attorney is invalid? What if the bank says the POA is too old? Can that be true?

       Unless you know the law and your rights, it is difficult to respond to these questions. State law governs powers of attorney so there may be differences from state to state. Next week I will share with you what New Jersey law provides and how to address the resistance you may experience.