Can a bank legally cancel a power of attorney? 4 Answers as of March 30, 2011

My parents are 90 and on hospice and 83 with Alzheimer’s. The bank is now denying my access to their accounts FOR ANY REASON. I found this out when I called the bank this morning to find out why the ATM card was not being accepted last night. The bank told me they would no longer accept me as POA. Can they do this? How can I manage my parent’s affairs if I do not have access to their account?

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Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
Powers of Attorneys are strange things to deal with. Private institutions, like Banks, are not necessarily required to honor them and can be very difficult to work with. Also, even with Alzheimer's, a person with a Power of Attorney can revoke that power of attorney. You may want to determine why the Power of Attorney is no longer being authorized, was it revoked or did someone at the Bank decide the Notary was too old (while not a valid reason, it has happened before), once you know you can choose to pursue having the Bank change their decision. Otherwise, your next step to continue in the capacity as agent is to file for Guardianship over your parents.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 3/30/2011
Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
First, the law applicable to this situation varies from state to state. However, you need to determine form the bank the exact nature of why your access to the funds has been denied. In general, a power of attorney can be revoked by the person granting the power or an authorized representative on the grantor's behalf. Since your parents most likely lack the capacity to revoke your authority because of their condition, it is probably the latter reason. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/30/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
It depends on the type of power of attorney. A durable power of attorney cannot be canceled by the bank and you can sue to enforce it.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/29/2011
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