#DYK Power Of Attorney Ends After Death?

  • Estate Planning
#DYK Power Of Attorney Ends After Death? | estate and probate legal group

You may understand the importance of a power of attorney, but did you know it doesn’t last forever? If you have given someone to handle your finances, medical decisions, or legal issues, it does not last indefinitely. In fact, a power of attorney ends after death.

What Is A Power Of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document allowing you to authorize someone to act on your behalf in various situations. You can have a financial, legal or medical power of attorney (also called a healthcare directive). This document is an important part of your estate plan and something to have in place now before you need it. If you are injured in an accident and need someone to take care of your bills and daily situations, then the person named in the power of attorney can immediately step up and take care of things for you.

Without a power of attorney, the courts may establish guardianship over you and appoint someone to make your decisions. And it may be someone that you don’t want to have access to all of your information. Imagine if you are estranged from your parents and the court appoints them as your guardian. This means they may be given access to your bank accounts, medical records and everything else.

Power Of Attorney Ends After Death

But it is not enough to only have a power of attorney. If you are sick, a power of attorney allows someone to take care of your daily decisions. But as soon as you pass away, the power of attorney ends, and you are again at the mercy of the courts if you don’t have a will.

Dying without a will (dying intestate) means that you have no say in how your assets will be distributed after your death. Who will become guardian of your minor children and who will care for your pets? A power of attorney is not the same as an executor of your will. That same person will not be able to distribute your belongings, close your financial accounts, sell your house or any other legal business that needs to be taken care of after you die.

This is why you need a complete estate plan. Even if it is as small as:

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you build an estate plan specific to your needs. From something simple to a more complex plan, having someone guide you through the legal process is crucial. There is no reason you have to try to learn it on your own. And even if you did try a DIY estate plan, it may not be legally binding in your state – and all your work and final wishes will be lost.

Call An Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney Today

Consulting an experienced estate attorney can give you protection and peace of mind. An Illinois estate planning lawyer can help you create a plan specifically for you. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835

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