advance directivesDurable Power of Attorney: can it be used after death?

I had a client call me last month after her mother passed away.  She wanted to know why she couldn’t use the Florida durable power of attorney (DPOA) she had for her mother to close out a bank account. Unfortunately, many people are under the wrong impression that they can use a DPOA to close accounts after the principal dies.  However, DPOA’s are only effective while the principal  is alive.  Once that person dies, the DPOA dies with them.

At death, the Florida Last Will and Testament (Will) takes over.  If the decedent had assets soley in their name, then the Will is what is used to transfer the assets to heirs.  The Will names someone who can act as the personal representative/executor of your Florida estate and who will be responsible for administering the estate.  After your debts are paid, the personal representative is also responsible for distributing assets to the beneficiaries listed in your Will. To learn more about Florida Probate, please contact the Law Offices of Laurie Ohall.