Does My Mother's Agent Under a Medical Power of Attorney Have Any Responsibility to Me?
My mother is in a nursing home. Does the woman who is acting as an agent under my mother's medical power of attorney have any...Read more
A power of attorney is a powerful planning document that enables you (the principal) to give another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for you while you are alive.
Because it is often prepared in the context of estate planning, many believe it gives their agents the power to continue acting after their death.
Although every state’s laws and forms vary, most power of attorney forms specify that the agency relationship created by a power of attorney ends upon a person’s death.
A power of attorney (POA) can convey a significant range of power to the person you appoint. This includes the ability to do the following on your behalf:
Most POA forms allow you to choose how specific or broad you would like the powers you give to be so that you can tailor a power of attorney to suit your needs. An agent can also update a power of attorney over time as a principal’s needs change.
In many states, these powers, once delegated, remain in place even in the event of your incapacity. People frequently execute a power of attorney for this reason. They do not want to worry about what may happen should they become incapacitated or whether a loved one will have the ability to handle their affairs if they are no longer able to do so.
That being said, a power of attorney expires upon your death. So, if you have entrusted a particular person with carrying out certain functions on your behalf while you were alive, those abilities cease when you pass away.
If you wish for the same person to continue handling your affairs after you die, you would need to specify they serve as the executor or personal representative of your will or trustee of your trust.
If you are concerned about maintaining continuity or making sure a particular person oversees your affairs upon your passing, be sure speak with an estate planning attorney. Every person’s situation and needs are different, and state laws also vary. Connect with your estate planner to help you understand your local laws and tailor an estate plan that meets your needs.