Power of Attorney/Legal Documents My grandmother has passed away and in 1998…

Power of Attorney/Legal Documents
My grandmother has passed away and in 1998 she had power of attorney paper done by an attorney. With these papers the bank and other places state that these paper are no longer valid, because she died. However in the papers it clearly states ”this power of attorney shall not be affected by my subsequent disability or death” ”This power of attorney shall continue in force and may be accepted and relied upon by any person to who it is presented dispite my purported revocation of it or my death, until actual written notice of either event has been received by that person. Any bank or trust company may rely upon the continuance of this power of attorney until receives written notice of its revocation.” What does PA law state? Are these papers still legal or are they no longer due to the fact she has now passed? If they are sill valid how do I prove it to these companys without hassle? The house is already in my name and has been for years. I am already on her checking, just not savings. I want to close both of her bank accounts and transfer her household bills into my brothers name, he lived with her and we just want him to buy my half of the house and place it in his name along with all the house bills.

2 thoughts on “Power of Attorney/Legal Documents My grandmother has passed away and in 1998…

  1. Re: Power of Attorney/Legal Documents
    A durable Power of Attorney may remain valid when a person has a disability or incapacity. However, all Powers of Attorney, no matter what they say, expire when the person who created them dies.

    When a person dies, her/his estate must be administered — paying all obligations including taxes before distributing what, if anything, remains to heirs or beneficiaries under a will. This is called probating the estate, and is started at the Register of Wills office in the county where the person resided at the time of death.

    The property passes according to the will or according to law if there was no will.

    The only way title to the house could be changed after your grandmother’s death is through the probate process. The only person authorized to act in that case is the person who is granted “letters” as personal representative of the estate.

    If you were not appointed personal representative through the probate process, you do not have authority to transfer the house, use any of her bank accounts, or do anything else with her property.

    Debts of your grandmother cannot be “transferred” to another person, although you and your brother can share the expenses of maintaining the house.

    You and/or your brother should be consulting with an estates lawyer to make sure that the actions you are taking are valid and legal.

    Miriam Jacobson
    Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson
    1900 JFK Blvd. Suite 1519
    Philadelphia, PA 19103-1431

  2. Re: Power of Attorney/Legal Documents
    Dear Madam:

    I agree with Attorney Jacobson that all Power of Attorney documents cease to have effect upon the death of the individual. However, you and your brother may or may not have to probate your grandmother’s estate.

    Probate refers to the formal process of the administration of a Decedent’s Estate. If your grandmother had a Will, presumably she named an Executor. If she had no Will, then one or more of her living heirs stand in line to be appointed as her Administrator – Administratrix. However, before you decide to initiate the probate process, we should take a very close look at how her assets were titled at the time of her death and whether or not the formal probate process will be required. The transfer of a Decedent’s real estate does not always require probate. Same can sometimes be accomplished pursuant to the filing of Proof of Death documents and the preparation of a new Quit Claim Deed to the property.

    Even if we conclude that probate will not be required, it is a certainty that a Pennsylvania REV-1500 Inheritance Tax Return will have to be prepared and filed on behalf of your grandmother’s estate. If you wish, I will be happy to offer you and your brother a free legal consultation with respect to this matter. You may contact me through my website at http://www.americanwillsandestates.com or by email at attywelling@aol.com. Thank you for your inquiry.

    Lloyd Welling
    American Wills & Estates
    2100 Wharton Street, Suite 110
    Pittsburgh, PA 15203

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