As power of attorney, can I change my mother's will after he death?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 21, 2016
Pnuts asked...

I have Durable POA from my mother that past away 9/2011. She left a Beneficiary Deed Upon Death to Three siblings. I am one of them. However in the recent POA it says I can change that. Do the other two siblings need to sign a release or does this current POA supercede the Deed Upon Death document. I am also the Executor of her will written in 1988.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

A power of attorney enables a person to act for another during his or her lifetime. So any powers and responsibilities given to you as agent in her POA ended when she died in September"”and you can no longer make changes based on that authority.

Your newer duties as executor are to carry out the wishes your mother left in her will; the property under the deed may not technically be considered part of her estate, since many such deeds are set up to transfer the property automatically at death, without having it pass through probate.

If the deed specifies that the property should pass to the three siblings at death, then that is the direction that must be enforced. If the other two siblings, for whatever reason, decide they want their shares of the property to go to you or someone else, they are free to do this. That arrangement can be made through the local registrar of deeds or title office.