Mary signs a power of attorney (POA) appointing her son, Frank, as her agent authorized to act on her behalf. The POA is acknowledged by a notary public and states that the agent has the authority to do all acts that the principal could do. The POA is effective immediately and durable by default under the new North Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act (NCPOAA) effective January 1, 2018. S.L. 2017-153 (S569) (not applicable to health care POAs or consent to health care for a minor under G.S. Chapter 32A).
Months later, Mary suffers a massive stroke and is no longer able to manage her property or business affairs because she is unable to make or communicate decisions. Frank retrieves the original POA from Mary’s safe and takes it to the bank and attempts to withdraw money from Mary’s checking account to pay some of her bills. The bank refuses to accept the POA and conduct the transaction. A friend of Frank’s notes he had a similar problem with his father’s POA. He had to ultimately seek court-ordered guardianship of his father to be able to conduct the necessary transactions on his father’s behalf because of the bank’s refusal to accept the POA. Is Frank stuck because of the bank’s refusal? Must he obtain guardianship to be able to carry out his duties under the POA on behalf of Mary?