Where can we get a Medallion seal on a POA when our bank doesn't provide the service?

Cpa3208 asked...

Where can we get a Medallion seal on a POA when our bank doesn't provide the service? My 88 year old father is in a dementia unit. One year ago (April 2010) he began receiving Medicaid payment for his care. Medicaid is requiring that we remove my dad's name from financial accounts and have them solely in my mother's name. The money in the accounts is what was left after the spend down amount was depleted. Two financial institutes are making this very difficult. One is MetLife (where there are stocks in my fathers name only), the other TransAmerica (where my parents are joint owners of an annuity). My mother is my father's POA. However, the POA document was created 10 years ago. MetLife and TransAmerica are requiring a Medallion seal because the POA is more than a year old. So, we have tried sending a letter with my dad's "current" signature. However, they won't accept it because dad's signature doesn't match the signature on file. They will accept a letter if we have my dad's signature notarized. But, dad doesn't have any form of identification, accept for his Social Security card. Would it be best to get the Medallion seal? We are in the re-determination period for dad's eligibility to continue Medicaid payments. 3 months ago I started the process of removing dad's name from accounts. Now I'm coming down to the due date for his re-determination and I'm afraid I won't have the MetLife and TranAmerica accounts taken care of in time.

Expert Answer

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

As you have discovered, it can be difficult to transfer assets once a senior becomes incapacitated. One of the most difficult things to do is get a Medallion Signature. A limited number of financial institutions provide this service. In addition, the senior must appear in person. The better route for your situation is to get your father's signature notarized. There are alternate rules for notarizing a signature when someone does not have the required photo id. According the Model Notary Act of 2010, ยง 2-20 Satisfactory Evidence of Identity. "Satisfactory evidence of identity" means identification of an individual based on: (1) at least 1 current document issued by a federal, state, or tribal government in a language understood by the notary and bearing the photographic image of the individual's face and signature and a physical description of the individual, or a properly stamped passport without a physical description; or (2) the oath or affirmation of 1 credible witness disinterested in the document or transaction who is personally known to the notary and who personally knows the individual, or of 2 credible witnesses disinterested in the document or transaction who each personally knows the individual and shows to the notary documentary identification as described in Subparagraph (1) of this Section."

The latter part of this section was designed primarily for the elderly who are confined to a facility and no longer have a valid proof of id with a photo. My suggestion is to get two people, not including your mother, who know your father and can provide proof of identity to the notary. If the notary is not familiar with this clause, you can refer him/her to the Model Act.