How Effective Is Power of Attorney After Death?


A power of attorney is an effective instrument in dealing with financial or health-related matters. A legitimate question is how effective is a power of attorney after death.


  • The function of a power of attorney is to designate a person to make financial or health-related decisions (under certain circumstances) on behalf of the grantor.


  • Unless a power of attorney for financial purposes is "durable" the grant of authority terminates if the person who created the document becomes incapacitated.


  • No power of attorney survives the death of the person who created it in the first instance. When a person dies, a power of attorney is no longer effective.

After Death

  • Following the death of the person who created a power of attorney, probate proceedings need to be begun to deal with that deceased individual's financial affairs.


  • There are instances in which an agent or attorney-in-fact continues to use the power of attorney of a deceased person. Doing so can have serious legal consequences for that agent since there is no authority for such action at that time.


  • Photo Credit Splatt/
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