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Joint Deposit Account and Power of Attorney Information Disclosure


(January 2nd,2018)

 

This statement provides the information about Joint Deposit Accounts and Powers of Attorney that the Bank of China (Canada) (the “Bank” and “BOCC”) will make available to you if you wish to give someone else the authority to do the banking for you. The information provided under applies to you if you wish to do one of the following:

  •  I would like to add a Power of Attorney on my account(s)
  •  I would like to open a new Joint Deposit Account
  •  I would like to convert from a sole-ownership account to a Joint Deposit Account

What is a Joint Account?

A joint deposit account is a bank account in which two or more people have ownership rights over the same account. Each account holder can make withdrawals, deposits, payments and other transactions on the account, no matter who puts the money into the account.

As a joint account holder, you share not only equal access rights to the account but also share the responsibility for all the transactions made on the account. For example, if you have overdraft protection or a line of credit attached to the joint account, all account holders will be responsible for repaying the outstanding balance. Also, the funds in the joint account may be subject to claims by the creditors for any money owed by one of the joint account holders. The joint account also allows you to have a right of survivorship. This means, that upon the death of one of the account holders, joint assets in the account are transferred directly to the survivor(s), regardless of your will (except in Quebec).

Types of Signing Authority under Joint Account Agreement

When you first set up a signing authority for your Joint account, you can choose one of the following options available to you:

  •  All to sign:  All Account holder signatures are required for any type of account transactions. For example, if there are two joint holders under the account, both parties have to be present at the branch to conduct banking transactions.
  •  Anyone to Sign: Anyone from the applicants/owners of the account is able to sign for any type of account transactions. This option also allows other account holder(s) to make transactions without your consent.

Requirements to open a Joint Account

All applicants must be present and provide the required identification when opening a joint account. The account can be opened in the names of those who are present at the time of the account opening.

Adding or Removing Someone from the Signing Authority for a Joint Account

If you wish to add more joint account holder to your account, you may proceed at another time when other additional individual is present at the branch and provide required identification. Also, you can remove an individual from being able to sign for transactions made on a joint account. In order to do so, you can request to close the account and open a new account in your name only. This request can be made by any of the account holders who have individual (anyone to sign) signing authority.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you authorize one or more people to act on your behalf to deal with your finances and property. The person giving the power is the “Donor” and the person receiving the power to act is the “Attorney”. Here, the Attorney can be a friend, or a family member, or a trust company, and have “fiduciary duty” to act in your, the Donor’s best interest and not his/her own. You can give them full authority to act on all your financial and property maters, including the opening and closing of bank accounts, or you can limit the authority to specific functions, such as payment of bills or managing your investments.

The rules governing Powers of Attorney vary from one province to another. If you require information with respect to the law applicable to your Power of Attorney, please speak to a legal professional in your jurisdiction.

Types of POAs

Not all powers of attorneys are the same and your document can be adjusted to fit your needs and updated to reflect changes in your personal situation.

  • 1)General Power of Attorney:
    A general power of attorney loses its power to practice authority if the donor becomes mentally unable to manage his/her property.
  • 2)Enduring or Continuing Power of Attorney
    If you select to this type, your attorney can continue to act on your behalf even if you become mentally incapable. An enduring power of attorney can take effect the moment you sign the document, and continue if your mental incapacity persists. Please note that this option is not applicable for residents in Quebec.
  • 3)Springing (Conditional) Power of Attorney
    This is a type of Enduring Power of Attorney that becomes effective only upon a specific contingency, for example should your family doctor determine that you are disabled or mentally incompetent to manage your own financial and property matters. 

Requirements to sign a Power of Attorney

In the event you choose to sign the Bank’s Power of Attorney application form, you and the Attorney(s) must be present at the branch and provide the required and acceptable identification.

For non-BOCC forms of Power of Attorney, the form presented at the branch can be either the original or an original notarized copy.

If the Power of Attorney was signed outside of Canada, you may be required at your own cost to provide a statement from a lawyer, licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the Power of Attorney was signed that it was indeed validly signed and complies with that country’s laws.

Can I Change or Cancel a Power of Attorney?

Your Power of Attorney may be changed or cancelled at any time, as long as you, the Donor, are mentally capable. For cancellation, the Bank may require a written letter of cancellation from the Donor. Please visit your local Bank of China (Canada) branch to request the cancellation of the Power of Attorney.

Conducting Further Review on the Attorney

In some cases, the Bank may require further review to determine the acceptability of the Power of Attorney document or the Attorney’s instructions on your behalf. If such situation arrives, the Bank will inform you or your Attorney that a review is required and provide the expected duration of the review. Please note that certain reviews may take more time than initially estimated. In that case, the Bank will keep you informed and provide the estimated timeline for the review or the subsequent steps you can take.

Refusal to act upon Attorney’s Instructions

At times, the Bank may refuse to act on an Attorney’s instructions or accept the Power of Attorney. In those cases, the Bank will provide available options to you to assist you on resolving this matter. If we are unable to resolve your concerns at the branch, please refer to the Bank’s Customer Complaint Handling Procedure which outlines how you can escalate your concerns related to the Bank’s services.

Which Option Suits My Needs?

If you require assistance in determining whether a power of attorney or a joint account would suit your needs, please speak to a legal professional for advice or guidance.

Additional Inquiry

If you have any questions regarding adding a Power of Attorney to your account(s), opening a joint account with Bank of China (Canada) or managing existing Power(s) of Attorney or joint account(s), please visit your local Bank of China (Canada) branch. If you want more information, you can also visit the Government of Canada website, at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum.html and go to “What every older Canadian should know about Powers of Attorney (for financial matters and property) and Joint Bank Accounts”.

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