Is power of attorney valid after death?

Written by carrie ferland
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Power of attorney, or POA, is a legal agreement between a principal and an agent that allows the latter to handle the personal affairs of the former. While the agreement can end at any time, a power of attorney is typically not valid after the death of the principal.

Scope of Power

A typical power of attorney agreement will cease upon the principal becoming mentally incapacitated or passing, as the principal is no longer able to consent to the terms of the agreement.

Durable Power of Attorney

You can draft a POA to continue after the principal's incapacitation. Called a durable power of attorney, this agreement will not continue after the principal's death.

Validity After Death

The agent loses her powers under the POA agreement immediately after the principal's death.

Handling Affairs After Death

If the principal and the agent agree that the agent should continue having the authority to handle the principal's affairs after his death, the arrangement must be separate from the POA agreement.

Executor of the Estate

A principal can name an agent as her executor in her will, which allows the agent to continue handling the principal's affairs after death.

Assumption of Duties

An agent can also draft an affidavit of assumption of duties [and/or obligations] to assume responsibility for the principal's financial affairs after death.

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