Who is responsible if you have a power of attorney on your checking and savings account? Just in case you can not pay your bills and then you die. Is she responsible for the bills.
Joyce from Wisconsin
I may be wrong, but I believe that the power of attorney ends when the person dies. Then the responsibility goes to the executor (or whatever it is called in your locale) who then deals with settling the debts of the estate. They should not be able to hold the person with power of attorney responsible for anything other than things to do with the person's affairs and only while they are alive. Like I say, I may be wrong, but that is the understanding I have of the law of my state.
I found a link that will help explain it:
Susan from ThriftyFun (10/25/2007)
I agree with what Susan posted. The power of attorney ends when someone passes away. The administrator or exceutor of the estate makes payments for the bills and the money comes out of the estate. I listen to an attorney radio program on WJR and they say the same. (10/25/2007)
By LITTLE SUZY
The power of attorney is for the person named as power of attorney to handle financial matters for someone who is disabled. I have 13 clauses in my power of attorney and a clause for penalties to the person who is to execute the acts and deeds should they abuse the terms of the power of attorney.
This is not to be confused with a power of attorney for health care also known as a living will. These instruments can get very complicated and one should see an attorney to have one drawn up.
The person was has been named to execute a power of attorney has no further responsibilities once the person dies and is not responsible for the deceased debts while they are living or when they die. The executor of a will pays any debts from the deceased assets. If the deceased has no will then the state will decide how the deceased property is to be probated.
Carole (the guest posting) may have something other than a POA for her brother, such as joint ownership or as co-signor for the specific debt/mtg. As Susan stated, POA gives the person the ability to manage the account should something happens to you. If you die, the money in the accounts may be use to pay off your debts, but if there isn't enough he/she will not be responsible for the deficit
Anna, NYC (10/26/2007)
We recently discussed this in one of my law classes. The executor, administrator, or the heirs are not responsible for debt that cannot be paid off by the estate. Many times, people are either not aware of this and make arrangements with creditors; or think "Mom wouldn't want this to be unpaid. I'd better pay it." I don't think that there is a creditor alive who would refuse payment, even if it wasn't obligatory. (10/29/2007)
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