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My dad passed away in 2010. My mother just passed away in July of this year. We had her propane company come and get her tank. They owed her 178.00 dollars and sent a check in my dad's name. I called them and asked them to put it in my name since I am the executor of her estate and sole heir. They said they couldn't do that, and that if I had power of attorney I should be able to cash the check. Well they are both deceased. Can I make myself POA? Or does that make me POA?
First of all, shame on that company.
1. If there's a legal aid office in your town, make an appt. take all your paperwork and see if they can clear this up with a phone call.
2. No legal aid office? Make an appt. with your local social security office and take all the paperwork, including death certificates with you. Again, ask them to make a phone call on your behalf.
3. When my son became critically ill I ended up having to contact my local state representative's office for help. He was surprisingly helpful and put one of his aids right on it.
4. Don't hesitate to ask any of the above sources to make a phone call to this business. They are just too darn lazy and heartless to issue a new check. Maybe if one of the above sources give them a little grief they will do what they should done from the very beginning. Good Luck.
Do I need a power of attorney for my dad so I can access his accounts to pay for his funeral?
The easiest way would have been for your father to add you to the account when he was still alive. If not, the executor of of the estate will have access to the accounts. Hopefully that person is you.
You have my condolences on your loss.
In my state, PA, power of attorney ends when the person passes and a named executor takes over. The will or other paperwork your father prepared should deliniate the executor.
If there is no will, then you will need to have a lawyer to help probate the will. That can be a challenge so do not go that process alone.
Are you the executor? If so work with your lawyer or your father's lawyer to get the death certificates and paperwork needed to pay the funeral and other bills and handle all of the estate closing.
If you are not the executor and there was one named, you will need to contact that person to wrap up things like the funeral. Be sure your dad did not prepay for his arrangements so you don't pay twice. That was a scam I heard about a few years ago. Where people prepaid their funeral, but the funeral home cheated families.
So sorry for your lost. Post back with how things go.
You cannot obtain a POA for a deceased person.
Even if you had had a POA from your Dad before he died you could not use it as a POA ends at the death of that person - in other words - a POA (of any kind) cannot be used after the death of that person.
If your Dad had a will then whoever was named as executor will have complete control of what is paid or not paid from his accounts. Did your Dad have an attorney? If so, that is the one you should talk to.
Did your Dad have any type of life insurance?
If so, the beneficiary will have almost immediate access to any insurance proceeds and this is usually how the funeral homes get their money. They can send a death certificate to the insurance company and the check will come to the funeral home (in the beneficiary's name only) so it can be cashed and payment made to the funeral home.
The funeral home may be of help so discuss this matter with them as they know how to get their money.
If there is no will and no insurance money then most likely no one will be able to remove any money from your Dad's accounts. This will become very complicated and you will need an attorney to help you and it will involve any/all members of your Dad's immediate family (if his wife is alive or you have brothers or sisters or even stepbrothers/sisters).
If you do not have funds to hire an attorney then you should contact your local family services as they can help you obtain free or low cost legal assistance. You should do this as soon as possible so you will also know that you are not being "overcharged" by the funeral home.
You can find your family services on Google by using your zip code or find it in your local telephone book under county/city services.
You can find information on some of these links: