Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Myth Buster -- Powers of Attorney Aren't In Charge When you Die

Image credit: www.sxc.hu - free image

During the frequent seminars I give on this ins and outs of estate planning and probate, one common myth bust is that of a power of attorney having the ability to "take care of things" after someone dies.

Again and again clients and seminar attendees will say something to the effect of "so, I named my daughter as my power of attorney for finance.  So when I die, she'll handle things.  Right?"  To which I say, "no that is not right.  Remember, a power of attorney gives someone the power to makes decisions while you are alive but too sick to act.  Once you die, that power ends.  Upon death, the person nominated in a will or trust then has the power to administer an estate.  Those can be the same people, but it is up to you to nominate them in your papers."

As an attorney I find that a very high percentage of my work relates to education.  Many times I am translating legal terms into everyday English, and other times I am slaying those cultural myths that hover around the topic of estate planning and probate.

Thanks for reading, and remember, a blog is not an attorney. Please seek counsel from an attorney in your State for advice.

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