Does having a durable power of attorney give a person the rights to file court documents on behalf of that said person
Oil / Gas Attorney
It depends where the heir is signing. If the heir is signing the portion regarding heirship, then no because only the person who has actual personal knowledge of the facts made in the affidavit can sign and the heir would be considered an interested party. If the heir is signing (and notarizing) the portion of the small estate application agreeing to the application, then yes, his authorized agent could sign. Be sure to include a copy of the power of attorney.
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POA's are only valid while the Principal is alive. They are automatically terminated at death. The POA naming you agent is of no use for any purpose.
My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.
Elder Law Attorney
It depends upon what authority has been granted under the POA document. Usually a well drafted Durable General Power of Attorney will include the power to sign such legal documents, but the POA should be reviewed by a lawyer to see what it includes.
In my state, a small estate affidavit does not need to be filed with the court. Courts are often very reluctant to allow a non-attorney to handle any court proceedings for a principal, even if the POA form allows it. That is what attorneys are for. If you get any resistance in your case, you are going to need an attorney to assist you.
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