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.
One area over which we have no control is when the person who our client chooses to serve as his or her agent on his GDPOA gives our client a different name to use in the GDPOA than the name that is on the agent's driver's license. This could be because of a marriage, a divorce, or because the person actually uses a nickname or just misspelled the person's name. Regardless of the reason, instances are occurring where a bank is refusing to accept a GDPOA because the name of the agent in the legal document does not match the name on the agent's driver's license. This reinforces the point that simply asking the people who you want in your legal documents for the spelling of their names is not good enough. You need to also ask for a copy of their driver's licenses so that the attorney who is drafting the legal documents can confirm that the names in the legal documents and the driver's license names match.
As a reminder, the date that the GDPOA was signed is another factor in determining whether or not a financial institution will accept a GDPOA. For that reason, we suggest to all of our clients that they contact us every five years to have their GDPOA refreshed with a more current date to avoid having a bank reject the use of the document due to its age. You do not want to be in a crisis situation when your GDPOA needs to be used to assist you, but the bank won't accept the document because the GDPOA is outdated. In that instance, if you cannot sign a new GDPOA because you are incapacitated, a guardianship would have to be established, which is not an ideal situation for most people.