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Does Power of Attorney become void upon death - is a Last Will always needed??

Hialeah, FL |

I have a Power of Attorney . Do I need a Last Will

Attorney Answers 7


  1. The power of attorney does not survive your death. Whether or not you need a will depends on what type of property you have and how you wish to leave it - there are many ways to make sure that your heirs or beneficiaries receive your property at your death and not of all them require a will. You should meet with an estate planning attorney to decide the best methods for what you want to accomplish.

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******


  2. Power of attorney does with you so you should consult an Attorney about creation of a Will. It is important you are able to choose who you want as Personal Representative and where you want your assets to be distributed.


  3. As stated above, a Power of Attorney does not survive the death of the principal. Most people need a will as it is the most basic form of estate planning. If you do not have one, then Florida law will determine who will control your estate and inherits any net proceeds from your estate. You should speak with an attorney to understand this issue . Many will even offer a free initial consultation.

    The response given is general in nature and based upon limited information. It does not and cannot replace that of a proper consultation with a qualified attorney. You should not act upon this Information alone, but should seek legal counsel prior to taking any action.


  4. POA is void upon death and you should have a will drafted to appoint the person of your choice as personal representative and distribute your estate according to your wishes at time of death.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  5. A Durable POA, in Florida, will continue through incapacity and right up to death, but as pointed out, it ceases to be effective upon your death, so your agent would not be able to wrap up your affairs after you have passed, based on the DPOA. However, a Will is not the only avenue for passing your estate to your descendants - you should also investigate having a trust, which can do the same things without having to go through a probate proceeding. Properly drafted trusts tend to be easier to manage, for your heirs, and can be less expensive to administer. Speak with an estate planning attorney about your options.

    My answer is of a general nature and should not be construed to be legal advice nor creating an attorney-client relationship. Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. practices in the area of Wills, Trusts, and Estates, Disability - with a particular focus on providing Special Needs Trusts for disabled children and adults.


  6. A power of attorney will be void once you pass away. At that point you will need either a will or a trust to manage and pass on your property. There are different ways to transfer property that may save your heirs the expenses of probate.

    This does not create an attorney/client relationship. This does not constitue legal advice. It is limited to facts of the question. You should consult an attorney before making any decisions based on this answer.


  7. As all the other responses indicated, a Power of Attorney does lose its power upon death. There are ways to distribute property after death without a will (e.g., by titling property with right of survivorship clauses, adding payable on death provisions on bank accounts, etc.), but typically there is some property that people don't always think about. Therefore, I always recommend a will even if a trust(s) is in place. Additional estate planning documents that everyone should have, include: Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, and Living Will. Keep in mind that wills do more than merely distribute property. Through a will you can communicate funeral instructions, designate a personal representative to take care of your affairs, indicate who is to take care of minor children and pets, etc.