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  • Writer's pictureSarah Morris Ocampo

Does a Power of Attorney Survive Death?

Updated: Jun 13

As a local Las Vegas estate planning and probate attorney, I often get asked the question, "Does a power of attorney survive death?" It's a common question from clients and potential clients who want to know if the power of attorney has any effect after someone has passed away.


To answer this question, we need to understand what a power of attorney is and how it works in estate planning. A power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person to act on behalf of another person. This can be useful in situations where someone is unable to make decisions for themselves, such as due to a medical condition or disability.


In estate planning, a power of attorney is typically used as an incapacity planning document. It is included in an estate plan to address the situation when someone is still alive but unable to make their own decisions. In this scenario, the person named in the power of attorney can step in and make decisions on their behalf.


However, once someone passes away, the power of attorney becomes meaningless. It doesn't have any legal effect because the person is no longer alive. At this point, the estate plan takes over, and the will or trust comes into play to determine what happens to the person's assets and property.


So, to summarize: A power of attorney is an incapacity planning document that becomes invalid once the person passes away. After that, the will or trust takes over to determine what happens to the person's estate. It's essential to have a comprehensive estate plan in place to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. This includes a will, trust, and other necessary documents to address incapacity planning and end-of-life care.


As an estate planning attorney, I can help you create a plan that is tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. Whether you're looking to create an estate plan from scratch or update an existing plan, I can guide you through the process and ensure that your wishes are protected.


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