Banks can refuse to honor a durable power of attorney (DPOA) if they suspect financial fraud. We recently received a call from a social worker who had a patient whose son needed to pay for mom’s care (mom was admitted to a group home) and to payoff her creditors. Mom was diagnosed with dementia and the son has had durable power of attorney since 2013. The son listed mom’s home for sale to help pay for mom’s group home care and outstanding bills. The house sold and the monies went into mom’s bank account. When the son took some of the monies out of mom’s account to pay creditors the bank froze her account. In Nevada, banks are mandatory reports of exploitation and may have suspected fraud. The Bank claims the son will now need to obtain guardianship in order to receive further access to mom’s funds. If not, the Bank has threatened to turn the son over to Elder Protective Services.
If one of your client’s find themselves in this type of situation, the following steps can help:
- Obtain a Physician’s Certificate stating the person is unable to make financial decisions for themselves;
- Get a letter from the care facility stating monthly fees required to take care of the person who is incapacitated;
- Obtain copies of bills listing any outstanding balances owed to creditors; and,
- Arrange to meet with the Bank Manager, present the documents (including your DPOA) at your meeting and explain why you should have access to the funds.
If the Bank still refuses to honor the Durable Power of Attorney, please have your client’s contact me at 702-798-4955 for further assistance. For over twenty years our Las Vegas Guardianship Attorneys have assisted families in dealing with the challenges of aging loved ones.