Who May Act for the Member
Power of Attorney- The fund will honor requests and directions from a lawful holder of a Power of Attorney document for a member. This individual is known as the attorney-in-fact. The Power of Attorney must grant the attorney-in-fact the authority to transact business of the type requested. For instance, if the Power of Attorney document grants the attorney-in-fact broad discretion to handle all banking and financial transactions, the fund will accept directions regarding benefit check delivery. If, on the other hand, a member grants what is known as a Health Care Power of Attorney, the attorney-in-fact does not have the authority to direct the fund on any matter, even something as simple as an address change.
If a member wishes to name a Power of Attorney for fund business only, without incurring the expense of legal counsel, the fund provides a Power of Attorney form. However, please note that this Power of Attorney will apply only to fund business and is not valid for general public use.
If an attorney-in-fact attempts to act on behalf of a member, the fund will require a copy of the Power of Attorney. If a copy of the Power of Attorney is not in the member's file, the requested transaction will be denied. The denial will then be returned to the attorney-in-fact, requesting proof of legal authority to act on behalf of the member.
Please note that Indiana law has very specific requirements for a Power of Attorney to be valid. The member's signature must be witnessed and attested to by a Notary Public. Further, the Notary Public must sign the document along with his or her printed name and notarial seal.
A member retains the right to act on their own behalf even if powers are also granted to an attorney-in-fact.
Guardians - The fund will honor requests and directions from a legally appointed guardian of the estate of a member.
Before the fund can recognize acts of a guardian, the fund must receive copies of the Letters of Guardianship and/or other official court documents appointing the guardian. Only the guardian of the "estate" of the member, the person with the power to handle financial matters (as opposed to the guardian of the "person," who is responsible for the physical well being of a member), may direct the fund.
Guardians are appointed only when a member is declared incompetent by a court of law. Thus, the member, while under an active guardianship, is unable to act on their own behalf. The fund will not recognize acts of these members until provided proof that the member's right to act on his or her own behalf has been restored.