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Does a Power of Attorney Expire?

There’s a lot to find out there regarding power of attorney, but something you may not be aware of is whether or not it will eventually expire, so let’s do that right now.

What we do know about power of attorney is that it is given to a person so that they can make decisions on behalf of someone who cannot. We also know that there are different types of power of attorney documents for different needs a person may have (like a health care power of attorney). But it’s only natural to wonder if it expires. You may think that a power of attorney would expire after death (logically), and if so, you are correct.

Every power that was granted in a durable power of attorney ends upon the death of whoever created the document. At that time, the person (or agent) who had been appointed power of attorney has no further duties, rights, or responsibilities.

If there is a will, the executor named therein becomes responsible for gathering up any property owned at death and then distributing it according to the instructions in the will. If directions are left in a trust, however, then it is the successor trustee who is responsible for this part.

If there is no will or trust, but there is property to distribute, then it will be done according to intestate succession laws. These normally will follow a hierarchy or sorts that depends on the closeness of the relationship between the survivors and the deceased.

Intestate laws also control who is authorized to direct both how and where a person should be buried or cremated if he or she left no instructions regarding that matter. Again, there’s normally a hierarchy to follow, starting with the nearest relative.

If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.