How Effective Is Power of Attorney After Death?


Quick Answer

A power of attorney is only valid during the lifetime of the named principal of the power of attorney, according to the Duffy Law Firm. Once the principal has passed away, the document immediately becomes invalid.

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Full Answer

A power of attorney gives the ability to appoint someone, called the agent, to make decisions and handle certain business affairs of another person, called the principal. The power of attorney is a valid document that makes it possible for the principal to have his affairs handled by another person, especially if the principal is incapacitated and unable to handle his affairs on his own, according to the Duffy Law Firm.

If someone has been appointed as agent in a power of attorney, those duties only exist during the lifetime of the principal. After the principal passes away, the executor of the estate takes over in the handling of affairs. If the principal had a trust, the trustee has authority in all matters regarding the trust. Unless the agent named in the power of attorney is named as the executor or the trustee, he no longer has access to any documents, financial records or other documents regarding the deceased's affairs, concludes the Duffy Law Firm.

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