Frequently Asked Questions
What is BluBinder?
BluBinder is a financial services technology company modernizing banking for families. We see money as a family matter, but banking solutions today don't make money easy to manage within families or across the generations of a family. One of the essential pieces of the puzzle that enables families to have easier access to each other’s accounts, statements, withdrawals, deposits and other financial services is a legal document called a Power of Attorney. We are here to help you set up a Power of Attorney for Finances as easily and quickly as possible.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document. Powers of Attorney generally come in two major categories: Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Power of Attorney for Finances. BluBinder's Durable Power of Attorney for Finances only focuses on financial matters, generally activities related to accounts in places like banks, credit unions, credit card companies, brokerage accounts, retirement plans, insurance companies and a few other specific areas. This Power of Attorney is focused on enabling a trusted person to help someone manage finances if that need arises, including in an emergency situation. BluBinder's Power of Attorney does NOT provide an agent the power to manage or sell real estate. BluBinder's Power of Attorney is called a Durable Power of Attorney, meaning it goes into legal effect and stays in effect generally until the principal revokes it or passes away. A Durable Power of Attorney does NOT give the agent powers for a specific time period; the agent's powers would remain in effect UNTIL the principal, and only the principal or a court, revokes those powers or the principal passes away. BluBinder's Durable Power of Attorney does NOT cover healthcare. Our document is officially called a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, but you may sometimes see it referenced in fewer words throughout our website and products.
CONCEPTS TO KNOW
How should I choose my agent?
For financial agents, it is best to consider individuals who are good managers of their own money, understand finances and investments, pay bills on time, and are trustworthy. They should share your values around spending money as well was saving and managing it.
Is the principal giving away their ability to make decisions?
No, the principal is not giving away any power under this document. They can still make all of their decisions for themselves. But they are granting powers to the agent as approved on the Power of Attorney. There is no change to any account ownership.
What does the principal need to decide before meeting with BluBinder?
Before the principal's consultation with BluBinder, they will need to decide who they would like to serve as their agent. It may be a spouse, child, close family friend—anyone, really. Whoever the principal selects should be someone they trust with financial decisions and who has shown good judgment in their own finances.
THE POWER OF ATTORNEY DOCUMENT
Where can I use the Power of Attorney?
BluBinder’s Limited Durable Power of Attorney for Banking and Investments can be used anywhere where you bank and hold investments. For example: government agencies; local, regional, and national banks and credit unions; as well as investment groups like Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Fidelity and others.
Is the Power of Attorney legally binding?
Yes. The final legal document is legally binding.
I’m already “on” my spouse’s account. What’s different about this Power of Attorney document?
Under a Limited Durable Power of Attorney for Banking and Investments, the principal extends their authority to another person to manage their financial affairs. The principal doesn’t lose any autonomy—nor ownership—of the accounts or funds. A Limited Durable Power of Attorney simply grants another person the ability to make the same types of decisions the principal would make on their own, such as paying bills, managing investments and more. Granting a Power of Attorney to an agent does not change the ownership on your accounts. The accounts will remain in your name. If you add someone as an co-owner on your account, while they can manage the money in that account, they can not manage any of your other assets. The money in a jointly owned account belongs to all of the account owners and can be used for each of the owners. When you pass away, the other co-owners on the account will inherit the money in that account and the account will not pass according to your will or other directions. When you have an agent acting under a Power of Attorney, they do not become account owners. As a result, they cannot use the money for their own benefit and have to meet legal standards to manage the money for your best interests. They do not inherit the money but rather can help you manage your assets during your lifetime.
What does this document do and not do?
The BluBinder Limited Durable Power of Attorney for Banking and Investments addresses the management of financial assets, including bank accounts, stocks, investments and retirement accounts. The BluBinder Power of Attorney... - Does not give the agent the authority to make gifts of the principal's assets. - Does not give the agent the authority to change account ownership including, adding or removing owners form the accounts, or adding a right of survivorship (the right for a co-owner to inherit the money in the account). - Does not give the agent the authority to change a beneficiary designation or any estate planning document (trust or will). - Does not give the agent the authority to manage, sell or convey any real property (land and houses), transfer assets to a trust created by the principal or communicate with the IRS or other governmental agency on behalf of the principal. - Does not give the agent the authority to make health-care decisions.
What if I change my mind after my Power of Attorney is signed and notarized?
No problem. If you want to void or make changes to your BluBinder Power of Attorney after it's been creating and notarized, we'll help walk you through that.
USING THE POWER OF ATTORNEY
When does my document take effect?
Immediately. Your document is legally binding once all parties have signed and the Power of Attorney has been notarized.
If I try to use my Power of Attorney and it does not work, what happens?
For 12 months from the time of execution, BluBinder guarantees support for your Power of Attorney. If you have trouble using the Power of Attorney as intended, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. The BluBinder team is happy to help.