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Does a durable power of attorney expire upon the death of the person granting it?

1 answer | Last updated: Aug 27, 2011
Q
DRose asked...
Does a durable power of attorney expire upon the death of the person who has granted it? If so, how does the DPOA individual go about bringing closure to the financial aspects (burial, disposal of personal property, etc.) of the deceased person's life? I do not know if there is a will.
 

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Caring.com User - Barbara Kate Repa
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Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of WillMaker, software enabling consumers to...
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Does a durable power of attorney expire upon the death of the person who has granted it? If so, how does the DPOA individual go about bringing closure to the See also:
With both parents in a nursing home and me with power of attorney, can I protect their savings and house?
financial aspects (burial, disposal of personal property, etc.) of the deceased person's life? I do not know if there is a will.

You got it exactly right: All powers granted durable power of attorney end with the death of the person who created the document. At that moment, the agent appointed in the power of attorney has no further duties, rights, or responsibilities.

If there is a will, the executor named in it is responsible for gathering the property owned at death and distributing it as the will directs. If such directions are left in a trust, it is the successor trustee who becomes responsible.

If there is no will or trust, but property left to be distributed, it will be done according to the laws of intestate succession in effect in each state, which generally follow a hierarchy depending on the closeness of the relationship between the survivors and the deceased.

State laws also control who is authorized to direct how and where a person should be buried or cremated if he or she left no directions. Again, there is generally a hierarchy set out"ā€¯beginning with the nearest relative.

For more specific information about each of these concerns, see the articles, expert advice, and community responses posted at Caring.com's End of Life section at www.caring.com/end-of-life.

 

 
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