Power of Attorney After Death (5 Startling Things You Need To Know)

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Power Of Attorney After Death - Does Power Of Attorney End At Death - Using Power Of Attorney After Death - When Does POA End

If you have one, can you use a power of attorney after death?

In this article, we’re going to cover:

When the courts appoint an administrator to an estate, they can choose anyone. This includes creditors or third-party companies. Meaning you and your family lose all control over the estate.

If you want to create a will for your estate or file a petition to become the administrator of an estate, fill out the form below for a free consultation. Free consultations are first come first serve. We always run out of slots. Make sure you get yours locked in now.

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How To Get Power Of Attorney After Death - Power Of Attorney After Death - Does Power Of Attorney End At Death

Power Of Attorney After Death

What happens to a power of attorney after death? 

Let’s go over all the things that happen after death. 

And talk about the transition from power of attorney to the executor of the estate. 

Power Of Attorney After Death Is No Longer Valid

It’s important to know that a power of attorney after death is no longer valid. 

This means that the power of attorney can no longer act on behalf of the estate. 

After death, the only person that has powers is the executor of the estate

A power of attorney allows you to handle property for a person while they are alive.

And a deceased person no longer owns anything for you to handle for them. 

They no longer can legally hold money or property after death. 

This is why a power of attorney after death becomes invalidated.

The power of attorney authorizes you to make financial transactions for someone. 

But they technically no longer own the property or money that the POA put you in charge of. 

After death, the estate owns the property. 

And this is why it’s up to the executor to probate the will

Assets Need To Be Protected

There’s a period between the death and when an executor takes inventory of the estate. 

This is when the property in an estate is not properly documented. 

And this enables people to steal from the estate

The executor of the estate should comb through the property.

Take photos of everything in the house. 

And anything that’s valuable should be collected and kept safe.

If the property gets stolen, it’s hard to get this property back later. 

Because it’s hard to prove who took the property. 

And that the property was even there in the first place. 

Most of the time, the only documentation of property is if it’s described in the will. 

Most of the time, it’s a good idea for the executor to take possession of the property. 

This is so that the executor can protect the assets during probate. 

The Estate Needs To Get Probated

Some people die without much in their estate. 

Others die with millions in assets. 

Either way, the estate needs to get probated. 

Every estate has to go through probate. 

The only property that does NOT have to go through probate is:

  • Retirement accounts where a beneficiary is listed
  • Life insurance
  • Pension plans
  • US savings bonds with a payable-on-death form
  • US savings bonds that are co-owned
  • Bank accounts with payable-on-death forms

A Will Needs To Get Filed

If there is a will, then the executor needs to file the will. 

NOT filing the will is against the law. 

Related: Consequences Of Not Probating A Will

Most states require you to probate the will within 30 days of the person passing away. 

You’ll want to make a copy of the will before you file it. 

The probate courts will keep the original copy. 

After the will gets filed with the courts, the courts will oversee the probate process. 

Notifying Everyone Of The Death

After death, the executor needs to inform all relevant parties of the death. 

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • credit card companies
  • government agencies
  • cell phone and internet companies
  • utility companies
  • insurance companies 
     

This will help ensure that additional charges do not accrue on the estate

Most states require the executor to publish the death in a newspaper. 

This way, creditors have an opportunity to get notified of the death. 

Creditors have a limited amount of time to make claims against the estate. 

Related: Difference Between Executor and Trustee

Paying Decedent's Debts And Taxes

Make sure that the claims against the estate are valid claims. 

Valid creditor claims are then paid.

The executor will use estate funds to pay all the decedent’s debts and final bills.

The executor will file the decedent’s tax return for the year they died. 

Taxes that are owed get paid out of the estate. 

This can include liquidating assets to raise the money to pay taxes. 

Estate taxes are usually due within 9 months of the person passing away. 

Distribute The Assets

After the creditors have been paid, it’s time to distribute the estate. 

The executor distributes the estate according to the will. 

If there is no will, the estate gets distributed per intestacy laws. 

Related: How Long Do You Have To Probate A Will?

How To Get Power Of Attorney After Death

If you’re wondering how to get power of attorney after death, it’s too late. 

You cannot get power of attorney after death for that person. 

And a power of attorney gets voided after death. 

The responsibilities transfer to the executor of the estate. 

When Does POA End

When someone passes away power of attorney (POA) ends immediately. 

Regardless of when the POA takes effect, all power of attorneys end at death. 

The only exception is a non-durable power of attorney.

The non-durable POA ends when the principal becomes incompetent. 

After death, a power of attorney loses all medical and financial powers. 

Related: Estate Planning Checklist

Does Power Of Attorney End At Death

Yes, a power of attorney ends at death. 

A power of attorney after death is no longer valid. 

When the principal dies, the executor takes over the estate

But what about a DURABLE power of attorney? 

Does Durable Power Of Attorney End At Death

A durable power of attorney automatically ends at your death. 

A durable power of attorney after death cannot handle things, such as:

  • paying your debts
  • paying creditors and taxes
  • making funeral or burial arrangements
  • transferring your property to beneficiaries
Power Of Attorney Responsibilities After Death - Using Power Of Attorney After Death - Power Of Attorney After Death

Using Power Of Attorney After Death

You cannot use a power of attorney after death. 

This is because the principal no longer owns the property. 

A power of attorney gives someone the ability to make legal decisions about the principal’s:

  • property
  • finances
  • medical care 

But when a principal passes away, they no longer have any property. 

Legally, the estate now owns the property. 

Anything that needs be done for the property needs to get handled by the executor. 

Keeping The Power Of Attorney After Death

When we set up your estate plan, you can have your power of attorney also be your executor. 

We see people pass away without wills all the time.

Their inheritance gets split up by the government.

Their spouses don’t get what they deserve.

Their kids don’t get fair splits of the inheritance.

It’s usually a mess and never turns out how the family wants it to.

Fill out the form below if you don’t want the government to be in control of your inheritance.

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