Sarah Siedentopf, an estate planning and probate attorney and founder of Siedentopf Law, discusses Georgia’s new Power of Attorney Law, OCGA Title 10 Chapter 6b.
TRANSCRIPT: Hi, I’m Sarah Siedentopf, an Atlanta, Georgia estate planning and probate attorney. Georgia has a new power of attorney law. It came into effect on July 1st, 2017. What do you need to know about it? The good news is, that anything prior to July 1st, 2017 is still under the old law. All old power of attorneys are still effective. Anything after July 1st, 2017 is under the new law, which has its own code section. The code section has a suggested form and requires any new powers of attorney to be in substantial compliance with the form. One of the goals of the new power of attorney law is to get third parties, such as banks, to accept it. It’s lovely to have a valid power of attorney, but if the bank won’t accept it, it doesn’t help you at all. Under the new law, when you submit a power of attorney to the bank, they have seven business days to look at it. They can accept it or reject it, if there’s a valid reason to reject it. Or, they can ask for other documents. There are three documents that they can ask for. They can ask for the agent’s certification that the power of attorney is still valid. They can ask for an English-language translation for any part that is not in English. Additionally, they can ask for an attorney’s letter stating that the power of attorney is valid. Once they have these documents, they have three more days to make a decision. If the bank does not accept a valid power of attorney, you can take them to court. If you win, and the judge rules that the power of attorney was valid, and that the bank must accept it, the bank will have to pay you attorney’s fees. It may also have to pay any actual damages. This is one of the benefits of getting a new power of attorney under the July 1st, 2017 law. Thank you for listening, and join me next time.
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