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Durable POA: List as POA and Beneficiary?

If a person selected her Durable POA which currently is included on all accounts as a Beneficiary, would it be okay to accept the POA and allow that person to be listed as POA and Beneficiary?

by Ken Golliher:

The account titles are "R. E. Lee POD Wade Hampton" and then R.E. Lee names Wade Hampton as his attorney-in-fact?

Assuming the grant of authority over bank accounts was without limitation, there would be no problem in allowing Hampton to act as attorney-in-fact in handling the funds in these accounts. Clearly, if there were other accounts on which he was not named as the beneficiary, he would have a conflict of interest of sorts; i.e. he might be more inclined to use funds from the accounts on which he was not the POD beneficiary.

Note that an attorney-in-fact could not name himself as the POD beneficiary on a new or existing bank account, but that is not what is happening here.


by John Burnett:

Notice that Ken has referred to the attorney-in-fact. That term, or "agent," is the term used for the individual who is given a power of attorney. The power of attorney is the document granting the authority and the authority itself. If I granted a power of attorney to Ken, I would be the "principle" and Ken would be the attorney-in-fact or agent.

First published on 07/15/2018

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