Is a power of attorney still valid if its maker dies?

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Question:

I was taking care of a now-deceased man via a general power of attorney. It has this clause: "This power of attorney is not affected by the subsequent disability of the principal." Most of my advisers say that it is still effective. I want to use it to sell his mobile home. The bank says no. What do you say?

Answer:

The bank is correct. The power of attorney is no longer valid.

The clause you mention refers to principals who are disabled, but still alive. In fact, it is that very clause that makes a power of attorney durable -- that is, effective even after the principal becomes incapacitated. However, all durable powers of attorney end when the principal dies.

The executor of the deceased person's will -- or the estate administrator, if he died without a will -- must handle the sale of his mobile home, if that is necessary.

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