If a loved one gives power of attorney to a sibling then dies without a Will, can the other sibling claim part of the estate?

My grandfather passed away last year without writing a Will. Before he passed he gave power of attorney to his daughter who was caring for him. There was a verbal agreement with my grandfather, his daughter and her brother to split the estate equally following his passing. However, the daughter did not honor the agreement. The estate is worth millions. Does the brother have a chance at some of the estate?

Asked on March 16, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a power of attorney ends upon the death of the principal. So when your grandfather died so did your aunt's authority over any of his assets. As for who shares in his estate, that will be determined upon by the "intestacy" or "succession" laws of the state in which your grandfather was domiciled as of the date of his death. Typically, when someonee dies "intestate" (i.e. without a Will) their assets are split between their children and their survivng spouse. If the deceased left no spouse, then their children share equally in the estate. At this point, your father's attorney is in the best position to go over and explain to him what will happen.


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