FACT or FICTION: Power of Attorney
Contributor: Maria L. Shinn
FACT or FICTION: I can use a Power of Attorney (POA) after death.
You should not use a Power of Attorney after your loved one has died. The authority granted in a valid POA ends at the death of the principal (the person who executed the POA). This means that an agent or “attorney in fact” should not continue to use a POA once the principal has passed away. After death, the Executor, not the agent, is responsible for probating your loved one’s Will, paying his/her valid debts, and administering his/her probate estate.
The death of the agent may also terminate the POA, if the principal did not name a contingent agent in the POA document. If no contingent agent is named, the principal must execute an additional POA, giving authority to another agent to deal with his/her affairs.