The officials told Griffis that they were "safeguarding his parents’ money" and questioned the validity of Griffis’ 17-year-old document. Family First also has an unwritten policy that it doesn’t automatically accept powers of attorney.
Texas law doesn’t stipulate that a third party is required to honor a durable power of attorney, which allows individuals to authorize another person to engage in business or financial transactions on their behalf. The only way a principal’s agent can make a third party honor a POA, as in Griffis’ case, is to go to court.
Readers responded with outrage that a legal document — one that is supposed to last until the principal dies or it’s revoked — could be shrugged off so easily. One reader in particular, state Sen. Jane Nelson was outraged enough that she decided to initiate a change.
Nelson teamed up with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff Wentworth to propose legislation requiring third parties to honor valid POAs.
Under SB1625, the senators have proposed amending Chapter XII of the Texas Probate Code by adding Sec. 489C, which would state that "a third party located in this state may not refuse, without reasonable cause, to honor a durable power of attorney properly executed in accordance with this chapter, including a statutory durable power of attorney."
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Watchdog: Senators aim to ensure that POAs are honored