Very often, a Decedent, prior to death and especially during a long illness, may have appointed a family member or friend as their Power of Attorney (Agent). The Power of Attorney allows the agent to conduct some or all of the Decedent’s financial affairs during their lifetime. However, the agent’s Power of Attorney ends when the Decedent dies.

Once the Decedent dies, the agent is not allowed to act on behalf of the Decedent. For example, the agent who is authorized to sign the decedent’s bank checks in an account titled in the Decedent’s name alone can no longer sign these checks after death.

Only the Personal Representative appointed by the Register of Wills will have the power to sign documents on behalf of the Decedent. In short, a Power of Attorney dies with the person who issued it. And, it is important to remember that the Agent may be required to provide the Personal Representative with a full accounting of all of the financial activities that they performed on behalf of the Decedent during the Decedent’s lifetime.

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