Banking Law Tidbits

It’s really all in the details, isn’t it?

Several new laws that were passed in the 84th Legislative Session weren’t headline-makers, but they sure did clean up some glitches in the system.

HB 3316 is a great example. It’s not unusual for an agent under a Power of Attorney to sign a deed or some other type of document that is a real property transaction, but there hasn’t been a clear rule about when the Power of Attorney document had to be publicly filed. There is now. The Power of Attorney has to be filed in the county where the property is located within 30 days after the real property transaction is filed. The penalty for failure to timely file? The entire transaction is voidable.

Next—if a Bank hasn’t heard from an account owner in 3 years, then the bank is required to turn over the owner’s mutual funds, money in a bank account, and Certificates of Deposit to the State. If 5 years have passed, then the bank also has to turn over the contents of the owner’s safety deposit box. This is called “escheat.” HB 1254 provides that an owner can designate a “representative” who the bank must also notify before the property is turned over. This law doesn’t go into effect until September 1, 2017. In the meantime – contact your bank occasionally just to let them know you are still around.

And this one—there has been a lingering problem about heirs being allowed to obtain bank account information of decedents who died without a Will. Banks weren’t giving any information, and some refused to disclose if the decedent even had an account. Under HB 705, heirs, spouses, creditors or anyone else having a property right of claim against a decedent’s estate can ask a court for an order requiring the bank to release information about the balance of the decedent’s bank account.

And, to finish it up —if you want bank records, then you have to pay the bank’s cost of producing them. Apparently some people were balking, and the bankers didn’t like it. HB 2394 provides that a court can’t order a bank to produce records unless the requester has filed a cost bond.

Hammerle Finley Law Firm. Give us a call. We can help.

The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice. ©2015