Justin, I’m trying to close out my father’s bank account, but the bank won’t let me. I’m getting really frustrated—can you help? – Larry
Larry, from your question, I’m not certain whether your father is living or deceased. I’ll answer both ways. If your father is living, the bank may reject your requests because you don’t have power of attorney over your father. Or if you have power of attorney, the bank may not be satisfied with the document you’re relying on.
A power of attorney document is a basic planning tool everyone should have. It’s what gives a person legal authority to handle business for someone else. Going through life without one is extremely dangerous for you and your family. And if you believe that one power of attorney document is just as good as any other, you’re wrong. Banks, financial institutions, and title companies reject power of attorney documents all the time.
If your father is living and you’re trying to manage his account without a power of attorney, or if you have one but the bank is rejecting it, then we’ve found the problem.
There is one limitation, though, that applies to all power of attorney documents. They are no longer effective after death. If you’re trying to close out your father’s account because he has died, then even the best power of attorney document will do you no good. You may need a good probate attorney at this point. A solid estate plan designed to bypass probate would have avoided your current frustrations.
The best way to avoid all of these potential problems is to work with an attorney focused on these very issues. One phone call to our office can get the ball rolling in the right direction. If you’re already stuck in the middle of one of these issues, let us help you find the best way out. And if you’d like an easy way to broach these topics with someone you care about, order a copy of my book at YourPlanMatters.com. The title says it all—You Need A Plan.