Some people who thought they had covered all their bases and acted responsibly to care for loved ones in the event of a debilitating illness or incapacity are finding their plans un-done by strict banking policies. Bank of America recently updated their online security procedures, and no longer accepts a power of attorney for online banking. As Bernard Krooks wrote last week for Forbes, this strict policy came to light when Chicago resident Eva Kripke was blocked from accessing her husband’s Bank of America account. According to Krooks, Mrs. Kripke had been handling her husband Sidney’s bank accounts as agent under a power of attorney ever since he was diagnosed with Lew body dementia four years ago. Suddenly now, however, she is denied access under the bank’s updated security procedures. The bank suggested she to go to her local branch and get a printout of her husband’s account information. Unfortunately, Mrs. Kripke felt this was unacceptable because her husband’s health status requires close financial oversight. Perhaps more unfortunate, her options are limited because her husband’s illness has rendered him incompetent. Rules such as these are becoming increasingly prevalent and significant as more people are called upon to care for an aging population and their attendant disabilities. An experienced elder law attorney can provide guidance in situations where powers of attorney are limited.
Reference: Forbes – Bernard A. Krooks (July 7, 2011) “Power of Attorney Does Not Grant Access to Online Banking, Says Bank of America”