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Hubert - Power of Attorney not accepted
March 27, 2017
11:04 am
christinad
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I emailed Hubert and got this response:

Thank you for your email. No, we do not recognize power of attorney. The only way that someone has access to an account is if they are the owner of the account or have a joint membership. We have members from coast to coast (except for Quebec).

March 27, 2017
11:12 am
AltaRed
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I don't believe they can say that. The law of the land overrides any policy of a naive financial institution and if your POA is properly written by a lawyer to include the right language, they must abide. I'd suggest you tell them that their Legal Dept needs to bone up on provincial law.

Here is an example of the meat of such an Enduring POA in BC:

".....to be my attorney in accordance with the Power of Attorney Act and to do on my behalf anything that I can lawfully do by an attorney including making decisions on my behalf and doing anything I may lawfully do by an agent in relation to my financial affairs.

I declare that the authority of my attorney continues despite any incapability on my part, and that my attorney may exercise authority while I am capable or incapable of making decisions about my financial affairs.

The effect of Section 56 of the Land Title Act, R.S.B.C, Chapter 250, and amendments thereto, is expressly excluded with respect to this power of attorney.

My attorney may invest my property as my attorney decides and is not limited to investments expressly authorized by law for trustees."

Note the key words "about my financial affairs". I'd write them and advise that they would get sued for not accepting the above.

March 27, 2017
12:24 pm
NorthernRaven
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Well, the "land" whose "law" it is for a Manitoba CU is Manitoba, which regulates them. There may be scope to require a Manitoba POA, for instance. And while they would probably have to deal with an estate's executor, or a guardian or conservatorship from another province, there is probably nothing that forces them to just create accounts under a POA.

They'll want to keep things simple for the online division.

March 27, 2017
12:36 pm
Top It Up
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NorthernRaven said
Well, the "land" whose "law" it is for a Manitoba CU is Manitoba, which regulates them.

They'll want to keep things simple for the online division.  

As a POA, two Manitoba online CUs wanted nothing to do with setting up POA administered accounts for me, I had to use storefront institutions ... similarly, as a Trustee for a Trust, my only option was a storefront again ... the online CUs turned me down. Though I don't think much of SCU as an institution, I was able to take advantage of their high-interest savings account.

I accepted their word as standard policy, and didn't bother to push the issue.

March 27, 2017
12:37 pm
NorthernRaven
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March 27, 2017
1:57 pm
AltaRed
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NorthernRaven said
As an example, Assiniboine CU allows power of attorney accounts, but their online Outlook division doesn't.  

Outlook would be sued in a heartbeat if they did not submit themselves to a legal POA on a personal account. That said, there could possibly be cross-jurisdictional issues in certain provinces. The issue could be if the POA is located in a different province than the person granting the POA authority.

See II(a) of this somewhat dated 2007 link http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x.....xecuted+In

Added later: Obviously the problem Outlook seems to have is they don't know who is behind the user name and password of 'online only' accounts. The way to beat that, if necessary, is not to tell them when a POA takes over. Simply use (assume the identity of) the original owner's user name and password....which quite frankly is arguably perfectly legit (having legal authority to act for that person). I'd still consider taking the effort to sue them though to make the point on principle.

March 27, 2017
4:23 pm
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AltaRed said

I'd still consider taking the effort to sue them though to make the point on principle.  

Geez, I have to say, I find this attitude both stale and offensive ... how about just move on and find another institution to work with.

March 27, 2017
4:29 pm
christinad
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I think power of attorneys should be supported. If you are single like me that is really your only option, although I guess you could make a joint account with a family member. I personally don't plan on banking with hubert long term and will only put a small amount of money there. Too bad because I was interested in their credit card.

March 27, 2017
4:40 pm
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christinad said
I think power of attorneys should be supported. If you are single like me that is really your only option ...  

You know there are hundreds of CUs to pick from, offering POA status, right? I absolutely don't see a single thing that has Hubert standing out from the crowd.

They don't offer ATM cards either ... you're OK with that?

March 27, 2017
5:07 pm
AltaRed
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Top It Up said

Geez, I have to say, I find this attitude both stale and offensive ... how about just move on and find another institution to work with.  

Not at all. What if I (as a POA) had to act tomorrow as POA for an individual who held an account at Outlook? What am I supposed to do if I cannot do anything with that account? If I am the POA is that situation, I cannot access it, I cannot transact in it and I cannot move it. What now?

Just like a lot of people here who likely have accounts at Outlook, don't you think their POA should be able to manage their accounts at Outlook if they suddenly became incapacitated?

March 27, 2017
5:13 pm
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AltaRed said

Not at all. What if I (as a POA) had to act tomorrow as POA for an individual who held an account at Outlook? What am I supposed to do if I cannot do anything with that account? If I am the POA is that situation, I cannot access it, I cannot transact in it and I cannot move it. What now?

Just like a lot of people here who likely have accounts at Outlook, don't you think their POA should be able to manage their accounts at Outlook if they suddenly became incapacitated?  

I'm pretty sure the rule pertains to a POA trying to set-up new accounts NOT if you're a POA assuming control of existing accounts.

If it is as the OP states from their email - and you have a POA in hand, duly notarized by an Attorney - Hubert would have to swing the money out to their parent so you could take control.

March 27, 2017
6:38 pm
christinad
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No that is incorrect. Hubert says

The only way that someone has access to an account is if they are the owner of the account or have a joint membership.

That means power of attorney can't access existing accounts. What if the person opening the account doesn't do their homework on who accepts power of attorney? They would be in trouble. Personally i don',t have the time to haggle with hubert but i say if anyone has the time and money to mount a legal battle, go for it. I'm going to vote with my feet and shut them down eventually. It seems like every bank irritates me in some way and eventually there will be no where to go. I'm mad at peoples trust because of the security breach but what are my options if it looks like manitoban credit unions are a no go due to lack of poa access?

Just a note to that neither oaken, hubert or peoples trust were transparent about poa process on their website. Eq bank had the most detailed info.

March 27, 2017
7:07 pm
AltaRed
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Top It Up said

I'm pretty sure the rule pertains to a POA trying to set-up new accounts NOT if you're a POA assuming control of existing accounts.

If it is as the OP states from their email - and you have a POA in hand, duly notarized by an Attorney - Hubert would have to swing the money out to their parent so you could take control.  

The former is what I think the Outlook FAQ means. A POA can't set up new accounts but could assume control of existing accounts. Which would be an acceptable solution.

March 27, 2017
7:54 pm
Norman1
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christinad said
No that is incorrect. Hubert says

The only way that someone has access to an account is if they are the owner of the account or have a joint membership.

That means power of attorney can't access existing accounts. What if the person opening the account doesn't do their homework on who accepts power of attorney? They would be in trouble. Personally i don',t have the time to haggle with hubert but i say if anyone has the time and money to mount a legal battle, go for it. I'm going to vote with my feet and shut them down eventually. It seems like every bank irritates me in some way and eventually there will be no where to go. I'm mad at peoples trust because of the security breach but what are my options if it looks like manitoban credit unions are a no go due to lack of poa access?

I think Hubert is just being practical and upfront about the POA access.

Power of attorney law is provincial. So, a power of attorney drawn up under, and referring to, the Power of Attorney Act of BC, as AltaRed gave as an example, has no legal effect outside of BC.

In fact, a continuing power of attorney for property under the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act often fails to meet the requirements for Manitoba's Powers of Attorney Act for an enduring power of attorney.

Ontario requires two witnesses. Almost anyone could be the two witnesses. In contrast, Manitoba requires one witness and the witness must be one of the following:

  1. a person registered or qualified to be registered to solemnize marriages in Manitoba;
  2. a judge, justice of the peace or magistrate in Manitoba;
  3. a qualified medical practioner in Manitoba;
  4. a notary public for Manitoba;
  5. a lawyer entitled to practice in Manitoba; or
  6. a member of the RCMP or a police officer in a municipal police force in Manitoba.

The witness will also need to sign an affidavit in the presence of someone entitled to take oaths in Manitoba!

Hubert probably knows that most of its out of province clients will not be willing to do a Manitoba enduring power of attorney if it were offered. Any legal protection Ontario laws may give financial institutions for relying on a less stringent Ontario power of attorney for property don't apply in Manitoba.

Keep in mind that a power of attorney document can be forged. Financial institutions are liable to the account holder if the power of attorney appointment turns out to be bogus. It is up to them whether or not to take the risk.

I'm sure Hubert would recognize a Manitoba court order granting access to a power of attorney. They could verify the court order and be sure that should the court-appointed attorney ask to wire the $100,000 to a Swiss bank account, the attorney would be the one subsequently on the hook for the $100,000 and not Hubert.

March 27, 2017
9:00 pm
AltaRed
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Norman, in the prior link I provided, there is this quote.

Legislation in British Columbia, Québec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are silent as to the recognition of out-of-province Continuing or Enduring Powers of Attorney; therefore, it is important to ensure that a Continuing or Enduring Power of Attorney is valid in accordance with the requirements in these provinces if the Grantor owns any property located there. The remaining Canadian jurisdictions will recognize a Continuing or Enduring Power of Attorney executed elsewhere if it complies with the law of the place where it was executed and it is not terminated by the subsequent mental incapacity of the person making the power of attorney.

I've underlined the section where Manitoba accepts an Enduring POA elsewhere if it complines with the law of the place where it was executed. By definition, it would appear that Hubert has to then accept a legal and binding POA from BC.

I am not trying to drag this discussion out ad nauseum. Only want to point out Hubert has to follow Manitoba laws and if Manitoba accepts a BC Enduring POA, so does Hubert. My excerpt is from 2007 so there may be more recent changes, but if not....

Added: I participated in this kind of discussion before elsewhere. FIs often get bad legal advice themselves and have to back off once challenged. Even the big players have to back pedal from time to time.

March 27, 2017
9:59 pm
Norman1
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AltaRed said
I've underlined the section where Manitoba accepts an Enduring POA elsewhere if it complines with the law of the place where it was executed. By definition, it would appear that Hubert has to then accept a legal and binding POA from BC.

I am not trying to drag this discussion out ad nauseum. Only want to point out Hubert has to follow Manitoba laws and if Manitoba accepts a BC Enduring POA, so does Hubert. My excerpt is from 2007 so there may be more recent changes, but if not....

Added: I participated in this kind of discussion before elsewhere. FIs often get bad legal advice themselves and have to back off once challenged. Even the big players have to back pedal from time to time.  

It is a useful discussion.

The quote only applies to the legal jurisdictions or the courts. The Manitoba courts will recognize a BC power of attorney appointment if the attorney proves in court that it meets the BC requirements. That's all that says.

Until actually recognized by Manitoba courts with a court order, it is not legally binding, like an unprobated will. Hubert could, but is not obligated to, spend the time and money to investigate a POA. Not sure provincially-regulated financial institutions are required to have in place what is needed to verify POA documents from across Canada.

The risk is quite real to the financial institutions. They know it. A friend in Ontario was hit by a power of attorney fraud by another family member. After months, the bank finally replaced the funds. It was some amount over $50,000.

On review, friend's signature on the POA document didn't match the bank's records. Police investigated. One of the two required witnesses could not be identified or located. Other witness was a family member. She confirmed that it looked like her signature. But, she could not recall witnessing the donor signing the document supposedly years ago. It was suspected she was tricked into signing a pile of documents that included the POA document!

I suspect Hubert would be reasonable in such cases. BC POA gets confirmed by a Manitoba court. Hubert confirms the court order and afterwards offer a free bank draft or wire transfer to a financial institution of choice that can offer accounts with POA access.

March 28, 2017
5:57 am
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As always, these discussions go to the extremes with nothing more than reams of FUD.

If you have a properly executed and duly notarized POA in your hands, AIN'T no one going to stop you from taking control of that individual's affairs, including the small potatoes Hubert Financial, and that's a fact. You may need a lawyer if there's intransigence (highly doubtful) BUT you will gain control.

March 28, 2017
7:55 am
christinad
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You seriously expect the power of attorney to hire a lawyer when they are already trying to sort out your finances and pay to go to Manitoba? Good for you. I'm not interested in incurring lawyer costs or wasting my power of attorneys time.

April 7, 2017
5:58 pm
christinad
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I meant to add to this that when i complained to Hubert about it they said they'd accept a power of attorney with a doctor's note. I didn't get into more details as i don't intend to keep my money there. It doesn't seem worth it.

April 8, 2017
3:17 am
Loonie
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Requiring a doctor's note would not fly very well with Ontario residents, I don't think. It's really hard to get a physician to do this. They defer to the Community Care Access Centres. I had both a gerontologist AND a psychiatrist refuse to lift a finger or even explain why they would not, but CCAC were very quick - and had the legal clout - at least to deal with incompetency to decide where the person should live and for health care decisions. I'm less sure about financial, but would not expect any cooperation from physicians, given past experience.

The powers of attorney that most people seem to sign in Ontario are not dependent on health status anyway. This was quite surprising to me when I saw what the lawyers had prepared and were continuing to prepare.

However, any provincially licensed institution, such as the MB CUs, is going to have to go by provincial law. Whatever the local requirements are will be what they will be responsible for doing.

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