How effective is power of attorney after death?

A power of attorney is an effective instrument in dealing with financial or health-related matters. A legitimate question is how effective is a power of attorney after death.


The function of a power of attorney is to designate a person to make financial or health-related decisions (under certain circumstances) on behalf of the granter.


Unless a power of attorney for financial purposes is "durable" the grant of authority terminates if the person who created the document becomes incapacitated.


No power of attorney survives the death of the person who created it in the first instance. When a person dies, a power of attorney is no longer effective.

After Death

Following the death of the person who created a power of attorney, probate proceedings need to be begun to deal with that deceased individual's financial affairs.


There are instances in which an agent or attorney-in-fact continues to use the power of attorney of a deceased person. Doing so can have serious legal consequences for that agent since there is no authority for such action at that time.

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About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

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