Last Wills Terminate Power of Attorney Duties upon Death

In every case, your wills terminate power of attorney agent's duties upon your death. Once you die, power of attorney duties end, regardless of the type of power of attorney. Even if you've failed to create a will, the power of attorney contract ends. You needn't worry about your power of attorney having the final say on how your estate is divvied up after your death.

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Understanding a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney acts as your agent for financial, business and legal transactions while you are away on vacation, business or incapacitated due to a mental or physical problem. Many people fear that if they die without a will, their power of attorney agent gets to decide how their estate is divided. This is not true. The power of attorney has no say upon your death.

Dying Without a Will

If you die without a will, your property will be divided to your surviving heirs following state laws. Your feelings towards family members do not matter, the property and money is split evenly, usually between children and your spouse.

If you have no surviving spouse or children, your parents are usually next in line. If they are no longer living, your siblings or your nieces and nephews receive your assets. If there is absolutely no one else, the property converts to the state who profits off your death.

Understanding a Last Will and Testament

Your last will and testament is the only way to make sure your family and friends receive exactly what you want them to receive after you've died. A last will helps distribute your estate, make sure your spouse and children are taken care of and that guardians for your children, if necessary, are named.

By having a will prepared, you protect your family and assets from long, costly legal battles. You ensure the people you most want to gain your property actually receive it. In the end, legal battles often hurt those involved and lead to bitter family disputes. It's always best to have a will prepared.

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