What to do if my 94 year old aunt passed away and I was named executor on her Power of Attorney?

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What to do if my 94 year old aunt passed away and I was named executor on her Power of Attorney?

Her husband passed away 9 years ago, she had no children and her parents are both deceased. I’m trying to close out insurance policies that she had and am being told that I need to supply a court appointment paper naming a personal representative for her estate but isn’t that what the Power of Attorney is for? Either that or contact the appropriate probate court about a small estate proceeding. What exactly do I need to proceed and get this completed?

Asked on March 7, 2013 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A power of attorney expires when the principle dies.  Your aunt's power of attorney ceased to be effective when she died. 

The insurance companies are correct that someone with legal authority will have to be appointed to receive and distribute the funds unless the insurance policy names a living person as beneficiary.  I assume it does not or the companies would not be asking you to open an estate.

Obtain an estate lawyer to take care of this for you.  It is not something you can do yourself.


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