Should You Name a Bank as your Durable Power of Attorney Agent?
Should your trustees on your revocable trust be the same people as those named on your durable power of attorney? Do you recommend bank trust departments for powers of attorney?
Yes, maybe, and no. Certainly your agent under your durable power of attorney—also called an attorney-in-fact—can be the same person or people as your trustee. This helps avoid miscommunication and can allow for more efficiency.
However, we usually don’t recommend that banks serve under durable powers of attorney, and most probably don’t want the role. Banks can serve as excellent trustees, but the role of agent under a durable power of attorney involves much more than managing money for which banks are well-suited. In addition to paying bills and managing investments, an agent under a durable power of attorney files tax returns, signs contracts, and deals with day-to-day financial and legal matters.
So, if you are going to have a bank serve as trustee, I’d recommend finding someone else to serve under your durable power of attorney, if possible. Of course, if you do not have anyone appropriate to name as your agent under your durable power of attorney, a bank trust department might be your only option.