Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator

You are the Agent under a Power of Attorney and the individual dies. What are you Permitted to do then?

Simple answer: NOTHING.

A Power of Attorney is only good during an individual’s lifetime. When the person dies, their Power of Attorney dies as well – that instant.

This means that you are not to run to the bank and withdraw cash using the Power of Attorney. You are not supposed to keep paying bills off of his or her account after the individual dies. You are not to use his or her charge card.

Who has authority over the decedent’s money? If they have a trust, their successor trustee will have this power. If they don’t have a trust and they have a Will or if they don’t have a Will, no one has any authority over their funds and property until a Personal Representative is appointed by the Probate Court.

If you are named as the Personal Representative in a Will, it does not mean that you have authority the minute they die. It is a nomination. It is not effective until the Probate Court says that it is effective.