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Course description

A power of attorney is a powerful legal document used to appoint an agent.  It can provide unparalleled convenience for the person who executes it, but it can also be a scary document for a banker because there are so many issues relating to the validity of the document, when it is in effect, what it empowers the agent to do, and so much more.

If you groan when someone walks into the bank with a power of attorney, it's likely your discomfort stems from uncertainty about what to look for and what to do with this type of legal document.

This program will help you understand:

  • What a power of attorney is
  • Why and how POAs are used
  • Who's who - the parties to a POA
  • Terminology used with POAs
  • Conditions for execution
  • Effective period
  • instantly effective or springing
  • revocation
  • termination
  • durable or nondurable
  • What happens when the principal dies
  • Understanding durable POAs
  • Uniform law - Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act, adopted in all states but one
    • "magic" words
    • effect of durability
    • effect of nondurability
  • How the CIP rules apply to POAs
  • Cases involving POAs
  • Powers of the attorney-in-fact
  • When an attorney-in-fact wants to name himself
  • - a joint owner on the account
  • a POD beneficiary
  • Uniform Statutory Form Power of Attorney
    • what it is
    • how it works
    • states that have adopted it
  • Signature card issues
    • who signs where
    • when the principal is not on the card
  • POAs used in special situations
    • one co-trustee gives a POA to another
    • with Treasury checks
  • Requiring POAs to be on an in-house form - pros and cons
  • Joint accounts and POAs
  • Recording the POA when the transaction involves real estate
  • Techniques for verifying the power
  • Situations where accepting the power is hazardous
  • Trustee of a trust vs.
    • POA from an individual
    • guardian of the individual
    • an authorized signer

This program covers general legal concepts applicable to powers of attorney, and touches on examples of specific laws of selected states to illustrate those concepts. It is not intended to be a comprehensive look at the pertinent laws of all of the states, but it will help sharpen your focus on what you need to look for in your state's laws.


Mary Beth Guard

Mary Beth Guard currently serves as Executive Editor of, CEO of Glia Group, Inc. and Executive Editor of Since graduating from law school in 1980, Mary Beth has focused her work almost exclusively on the banking industry. Previously, Mary Beth served as EVP/General Counsel and COO for the Oklahoma Bankers Association, EVP of Specialized Services for Thomson Financial Publishing, and General Counsel for the Oklahoma State Banking Department. Mary Beth is on the advisory board for Bankers' Hotline. She has presented training programs for virtually every major national financial industry association, as well as more than a dozen state bankers associations and a host of other organizations. In addition, Mary Beth has written more than a thousand banking-related articles and is a BOL Guru.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Analyzing and Accepting Powers of Attorney

  • 2


    • Materials

    • Slides

    • Uniform Power of Attorney Act

    • CFPB Guide for Attorneys-in-Fact

    • Webinar Q & A Document