Power of Attorney After Death: 6 of the Most Common Questions Answered

With 2.9 million deaths each year in North America, it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Did you recently lose a loved one or are they ill?

In this article, learn what occurs regarding the power of attorney after death. Read on to discover common questions answered regarding this legal and difficult situation.

1. What Is a Power of Attorney?

The power of attorney is given to a person who will make legal decisions and sign documents on another’s behalf. It can be a close family member or friend, someone who you trust.

The person who nominates the power of attorney is known as the principal. The individual with this role is known as an agent. You can have limited or broad powers with the power of attorney.

If you have limited powers, you’re only allowed to make decisions on one matter. When it comes to broad powers, you have unlimited authority over financial and legal decisions.

2. What Happens to Power of Attorney After Death?

A power of attorney ends after the death of the principal no matter the agreement. If you were the principal, your financial affairs will be handled by the executor of the state.

If you don’t have an executor of the state, then the probate court chooses an executor to manage the estate. To choose your executor of the state, ensure you have it listed in your estate plan.

3. a Will vs No Will

After someone’s deceased, they legally don’t own the property anymore. In order for it to be passed on to someone else, it must be in the will. The probate process of legally distributing property is done by the named executor.

4. What If There Isn’t a Will?

The deceased’s property will still go through a probate attorney to have a transfer of the property. It’ll abide by state law since there’s no will. The court will then choose an administrator to handle the estate.

You can apply to be the administrator. The court may very well agree since there’s no will.

5. What About Debts and Taxes?

Any taxes and debts fall under the estate. They’re not for the beneficiaries in the will to worry about. If there’s not enough to pay off the taxes and debts, they don’t become the responsibility of the family.

Many might think it’s the right thing to do and pay it off, but it’s not required. Also, meet with an accountant to determine if you’ll need to extend any tax returns.

6. Who to Notify After the Death?

You’ll want to notify everyone of the death of your loved one including family and friends. Also, reach out to their utility companies, cell phone carriers, government agencies, credit card companies, and others who they could be charged by.

One they’re notified, you can stop any continued charges.

Exploring What Happens to Power of Attorney After Death

Losing your loved one is never easy especially when worrying about what happens to the power of attorney after death.

Make sure that you and your loved ones have everything properly filled out and all legalities met.

Would you like to learn more about the power of attorney and other matters? Check out our other articles.

Comments 1

  1. Richard L Oliver says:

    I have POA for my Grand Daughter who is gravely ill. When she passes can I still take care of her afffairs or will the estate go into probate ?
    Tank you

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