What happens if person with power of attorney dies?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 15, 2016
Mishka asked...

My dad in Calif. redid his trust and gave POA to his brother in Texas who is 80 years old. There is no backup named in the trust. What happens if he passes?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com 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.

There can be so much legalese involved in estate planning matters, that it's easy to get terms confused. Just want to be sure to accurately address your concerns.

A POA has nothing to do with a trust. The agent named in a POA only acts to manage a person's finances or medical care while a person is alive. The person named as trustee or successor trustee in a trust is the one responsible for managing trust property according to the trust's terms.

So I'm assuming you're concerned because your dad's trust names his elderly brother to administer the trust, with no back-up named.

If you have access to the trust document, make a close read of it. Many will specify what person or agency should take over in case no one named survives.

If no named trustees survive to administer a trust, what generally happens is that the trust beneficiaries elect someone to serve.