What do I do if my father wants to appoint me as his power of attorney?

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2013

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What do I do if my father wants to appoint me as his power of attorney?

He currently can make decisions for himself but is in poor health. He is under the assumtion that by appointing me power of atttorney that if something happens to him I will then I would be the reciepient of bank accounts as well as his other assesets. I keep telling him that isn’t true since he has a wife my (stepmother). I told him that I thought if something happens everything would eventually go to her and the POA expires when something happens to him. Is this all correct?

Asked on March 10, 2013 under Estate Planning, California


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that the POA expires when your father dies.  In addition, the POA does nothing to distribute assets after death.  It would allow you to manage your father's assets while he lives.

If your father dies without a will, his children may inherit some of his assets.  I do not practice in California and am not familiar with the community property provisions effective in that state.  However, since your father's wife is not your mother, you and your siblings (if you have any) will inherit some portion of your father's estate.

It would be best for your father to consult a lawyer and prepare the documents that will carry out his wishes. 

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