How to Use a Power of Attorney at a Bank

By Krystal Wascher
Agents must use a financial power of attorney to legally access another person's bank account.

bank image by Pefkos from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

There are several types of power of attorney documents that a person may have drafted in order to authorize another person to act as her agent for health care or financial purposes. If you will be handling another person's financial transactions such as making withdrawals from a bank account, drawing checks on an account for the purpose of paying bills for another or transferring funds between accounts, you will need to have a financial power of attorney in place before you will be authorized to make such transactions.

Contact the bank before having a financial power of attorney drafted by a lawyer. Many banks have their own power of attorney forms that their account holders must complete and sign before the bank will acknowledge the power of attorney privileges of an agent. Some banks will require the account holder and the agent to appear in person together to complete the power of attorney form, while others may permit the account holder to complete the form off-site as long as it is notarized. If you complete a power of attorney form at a specific bank, the form will only be effective for completing transactions at the specific institution.

Send or deliver your previously drafted financial power of attorney document to the bank. This step should be completed if you have already had a financial power of attorney document drafted by a lawyer or if your bank does not supply financial power of attorney forms for their specific institution. If your bank agrees to recognize the document, ask if there is any additional documentation that needs to be completed by either the principal or the agent.

Provide identification and a copy of the financial power of attorney to the bank teller when you ready to complete a transaction. As an agent for another's account, you may be required to complete an affidavit stating that you are authorized to complete transactions against the principal’s account. Fill out the necessary documentation and complete your transaction. Always ask for a receipt for each transaction that you make.

About the Author

Krystal Wascher has been writing online content since 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Thiel College and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2009.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article