What rights do I have regarding a Durable Power of Attorney regarding my late mother’s affairs?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What rights do I have regarding a Durable Power of Attorney regarding my late mother’s affairs?

I have a DPOA for my late mother which is very thorough. Does this let me handle all the affairs still? I don’t live close so I need to many things taken care while I’m here. The house on the market, pay some bills, etc.

Asked on April 21, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Powers of Attorney, including Durable ones, cease to exist or have any power when the person granting you that power (the "principal"; in this case, your mother) passes away. Only living people can have POAs. To have power over her estate and affairs once she passed away, you need to either be appointed her executor in her will (and submit the will for probate, and have your appointment confirmed by the court) or, if there is no will, have the probate court appoint you as the estate's administrator or personal representative (either term might be used). Contact the probate court in the county where your mother lived to inquire into being appointed, as applicable, executor or personal representative.

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