Do I have inheritance rights as the POA?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 23, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

A year in a half ago my uncle was hospitalized because he had a stroke. His brothers are miles away so they appointed me power of attorney. My uncle's condition had gotten worse and he was admitted into a nursing home. He passed away a month later, leaving behind a house, car, and stocks and bonds.

His brothers are not looking after his home and I promised my uncle I would watch over everything if something were to happen to him. When he passed on his home was paid for. What are my rights being that his brothers turned over POA rights to me? Thank you for your time.

Expert Answers

A Power of Attorney, including what's called a "durable" one (which means it remains effective even if the signer becomes incapacitated) has no effect on property the signer leaves at death. Once the signer dies, all authority of the person appointed to act under the POA ends. Property left at death can be legally transferred by a number of methods, including a living trust or will. If there was no will or other legal transfer method, the property passes under the state "intestacy" law of the state where the person lived and died. Each state's intestacy laws vary in some particulars, but generally the deceased's property goes to the closest family relations.