Is a power of attorney still valid after someone passes away?

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Question:

I’m the executor of my aunt’s estate, or I will be as soon as I start the probate proceeding and the court officially appoints me. I helped her with her financial matters for years, and I have her power of attorney. There are bills that need to be paid—can I keep paying them, as her attorney in fact, until the probate court issues me documents showing that I’m the executor?

Answer:

Sorry, no—the power of attorney from your aunt, and your authority under it, ended when her life did. No power of attorney, even one that’s “durable,” outlives the person who signed it. (A durable power of attorney is one that stays in effect even if the person becomes incapacitated.) You’ll need to wait for the court to act. It shouldn’t take long; if there are bills that are urgent, contact the creditors and let them know the situation.

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