What to do if my father passed away last week and I am his POA?

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2013

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What to do if my father passed away last week and I am his POA?

He has a house that we will be selling in about 6 weeks. Does it have to go through probate and will the money from the sale of the house be taxed? I know of all outstanding bills and have enough cash to pay for said bills. Basically do I have to go through probate?

Asked on October 30, 2013 under Estate Planning, North Dakota


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a POA is meaningless after death.  You can not have power of attorney for a dead person.  What matters is who was named his executor in his will.  If he did not have a will, then his possessions will pass according to your state's laws of intestacy.  Unless the house was owned by a living trust with beneficiaries, then yes, it will have to go through probate.  You are not going to be able to sell it in 6 weeks because you will not have a clear title.  When you do sell the house, you will not have to pay estate tax unless the house is worth more than $5 million.  Unless your father's bank accounts were held together with you as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, they will need to go through probate as well.

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