Does a medical/financial POA have rights after death?

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Does a medical/financial POA have rights after death?

My father passed away about 4 months ago. His sister, my aunt was POA at the time of his death. There are things she is doing that his children disagree with. As far as I know, he did not have a Will or a life insurance policy. Does she still have rights to do what she wants after his death? How do I his oldest daughter find out if he had a will/life insurance? I need help ASAP. She My Aunt is planning a military service for him this weekend, which is something none of his children ever heard him say he wanted.

Asked on June 13, 2016 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A power of attorney terminates when the principal dies. This rule is followed in all states. Therefore, the agent no longer has authority to act on behalf of the principal and the principal’s successors take over the management of the deceased's affairs. Accordingly, in your situation, your aunt in acting outside of any legal authority. What you need to do now is to go the the probate court in the county in which you father was domiciled as the time of his death and ask for appointment as "personal representative" of his estate (this is like an executor when thereis noWill). You (or whichever sibling, etc. is appointed) will then be legally vested to administer the affairs of the estate.


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