17 answers

Durable Power of Attorney Question

Hopefully someone out there has experience with Durable Power of Attorney! My husband has just been forced to put his dad in a nursing home. He is not likely to ever come out. Before he went in he signed over Power of Attorney to my husband. This is the question: can we sign his checks then? The banks won't add him to the accounts even with the proof of POA, so do we pay his bills using his checks by signing them with his name? UGH! Please offer any advice you have on this whole issue! Thanks.

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I am so blessed by the help of the mom's out there who answered my plea! I now have a much more clear understanding of Durable Power of Attorney and what needs to be done for my Father-In-Law. Thank you all!


More Answers

Sorry to hear about your situation, I know it is not an easy one. When my father past away a few years ago it was decided that I be put on my mother's banking account. We just went into the bank and took care of the paperwork. You probably are not able to do that. The bank should tell you what has to be done in order for you to be able to be on the account. If they can't give you that information, I would contact the lawyer who helped set up the POA. I would think that should get you somewhere.

Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

It was my mother, not me that went through this. Although I was very close because it was my grandfather and I helped a great deal. Until he died in February of this year, she was able to get added to his bank accounts and take care of everything she needed with the Durable Power of Attorney. NOw some things were a bit different because my grandmother is still alive and some companies wanted her authorization. Which she (grandmother) then authorized my mother to be able to take care of anything that came up.

He was in a nursing home too and never made it out. So sad, yet I sorta felt at peace when the suffering ended.

You should check over you papers or have a laywer that can explain why this may be happening. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

You mentioned DPOA in your title, but POA in your text. They are different. DPOA is for healthcare decision-making. No, a bank wouldn't honor that. POA is for all other business, and the bank should honor that, unless the language of the POA states specifically what it does and/or does not cover and banking is excluded.(that would be rare). Read the documents, and if you still have questions, michigan.gov, under attorney general, should have information on that tl help you understand. If the documents were drafted by an attorney, they could also answer your questions. I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law, I wish the best for all of you.

1 mom found this helpful

S. -

I'm sorry to hear of your situation. I went through something similar with my mother a few years back. If you were to speak with an attorny, they would tell your husband to sign the checks with his name and the letters POA or DPOA after it, depending on whether or not it's a durable POA. I don't recall off hand what durable means. There is no need to put your husband on the account unless he truly wants to be. At least that's how it worked with my mother.

I do strongly recommend you speak with an attorney. Does your father-in-law have enough money to pay for the nursing home until he no longer needs it? Does he have a home? It gets complicated from here...and heart breaking.

Feel free to contact me if you would like any more info.

K. T

1 mom found this helpful

I myself had the same situation with my mother . I would highly recomend you set up a trust. In it you can do the same stuff as you do in a POA. My mother had a will and we found out that going through probate is a chore. With a trust you avoid the probate part and everything is so much easyer. As far as the checkng account have your husbands name added to the checking account if possible. you wont need nothing from the courts if he was to pass as your husbands name will already be on it. Get everything you can co-owned with your husband as the survivor. because we didnt we are looking at around $5000 for lawyer and the property another $5000 to get it surveyed to split 4 ways. with a trust all 4 of us could own the property in one chunk.
Just my scoop on it.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, S.

Your husband has the awesome responsibility of handling his dad's affairs. He is liable for any and all decisions he makes on his father's behalf and should speak with an attorney now, not later. Putting his name on the bank account of his father may also mean that he is co-owner of the account, he would have access to that account for anything whatsoever, even if it was not on behalf of his father. If the bank allowed that to happen then they also assume liability.

Before he does anything, he should have an attorney review the Durable Power of Attorney, and advise him on the level of resonsibility he has taken on by acting on his father's behalf, and give advice on what needs to be done. My three questions to you are: (1) Over a year's time, would you agree thta we find ourselves making MAJOR decisions that affect our lives, as well as the lives of our loved ones? (2) Would some of these decisions be made easier with the advice of an attorney?, and (3) If you could call a top-rated attorney during normal business hours and ask them any question, personal, professional or financial, without receiving a bill, would it be beneficial to you and your family?

Friends and family can give you advice on anything, however, will what they avise you to do stand up in a court of law? In most cases, the answer is a resounding "No" because the law is not based on how you felt at the time or your belief; it is based on the legality of the action. Knowing what your options are is tantamount to making necessary decisions.

My job, or my personal mission, is to tell as many people as I can about services that are available to them ... right now. It's their decision whether or not to take advantage of what is available. I feel better, however, knowing that I at least gave them information to make an informed decision.

Feel free to call me. I can be reached at ###-###-####.

1 mom found this helpful

There are multiple types of Durable Power of Attorney: health issues, financial issues, and one more that I am unable to remember (the least needed). We just had first two types done by a lawyer for $400.00. You file them in a safe place. Our lawyer has a copy, but it is for reference only.

1 mom found this helpful

Durable Power of Attorney gives him the right to decide the health issues concerning his father - that's it. In order to get a power of attorney for other things - such as paying bills, or deciding what to do with his property, you would have to consult an elder law attorney, and go to court to get the dad proven unfit, or unable to handle his affairs. It's a hard process - my heart goes out to you.

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