FACT or FICTION: Power of Attorney

FACT or FICTION:  Power o…

FACT or FICTION: I can use a Power of Attorney (POA) after death.

Answer:  Fiction.

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.

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