At least once a week we hear from a family member who has been told that her dad’s power of attorney has expired. In an effort to protect an account holder’s assets, many financial institutions will refuse to accept a power of attorney. They fear fraud and exploitation, so they will often create artificial barriers to accepting an account holder’s POA.
This is often infuriating and confusing to the named agent who is probably already facing a stressful and overwhelming situation. So, one of the common tactics financial institutions use to turn away acting financial agents is to claim that the POA is “stale,” “expired,” or “too old.”
Let’s be clear: there is no Georgia statute that forces a power of attorney to have a set expiration date.
There is no magical number of years that a power of attorney must have been written within in order to still be good. So, when you hear:
“Your power of attorney is over five years old, we can’t use it.”
“This POA was written in 2010—it’s not good anymore.”
“His power of attorney is stale.”
Know that this is a false claim. Push back. Ask to speak to a manager. Ask to speak to one of the financial institution’s attorneys. Because here is the truth:
Most powers of attorney are good until the creator of the POA dies.
The power of attorney document will say within it when it expires or when it is no longer effective. There is a slim chance that the document may set an expiration date. Most, however, state that the document is good until the person’s death.
If you have any questions or concerns about the powers of attorney or if you just want your documents reviewed by one of our Certified Elder Law Attorneys, please contact our office through our website or by calling us at (404) 843-0121.
Miles Patrick Hurley is a Certified Elder Law Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, serving the legal needs of the elderly population on issues related to aging, including retaining independence, quality of life and financial security. Mr. Hurley is one of only twelve attorneys in the state of Georgia to receive the Elder Law Attorney Certification (CELA), and one of less than 500 nationwide. https://hurleyeclaw.com