If my father just passed away and I am his POA, how do I distribute his estate?

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If my father just passed away and I am his POA, how do I distribute his estate?

There is just my brother and I. My dad had stocks and a checking account,; he also had $19,000 in insurance and bills of about $15,000. My brother says split the money now and he’ll pay half the bills. Is that how it usually works? Dad made me POA because my brother was all about the money. Is this the best way to do it?

Asked on November 24, 2014 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  First understand that a POA dies with the person for whom it is made (your Dad) so it is no longer in effect.  Now, please do NOT do as your brother says.   You must request to be appointed as the Personal Representative of your Father' estate in order to distribute the estate assets.  And you have to pay the bills FIRST before you can distribute anything.  If the life insurance named you or your brother (rather than no one or the estate) it goes to you directly and is not part of the pot.  I am going to give you a link here to information.  Please read it carefully.  Wisconsin has a Small Estate Proceeding (estate under $50K) and that may help you.  Good luck.

http://www.wicourts.gov/services/public/selfhelp/docs/probateguide.pdf

 


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