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How can I get a power of attorney for a deceased relative?

Beaverton, OR |

I am working with two 18 year students at my high school in which the grandmother passed away a few months back. The apartment was originally under the grandmother's name. The property management company requested the girls apply for the apartment under their own names, but were issued a refund of their original deposit under the name of the deceased grandmother. Grandmother did not have any bank accounts or left anyone in charge of her estate. The girls do have her death certificate. How can the girls get this power of attorney in order for them to cash the security deposit check so they can reapply it to the apartment they are living in??

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Attorney answers 4


They can't. Powers of attorney are only good while the person who granted it is still alive. Unless the management company is willing to write a check to the girls, they will have to go to probate court and get an order vesting the estate in them. If grandmother had children who are still alive, the money in all likelihood goes to them.

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You can't. They need to deal with the executor of her estate. They should contact a probate attorney if the executor is unavailable or unhelpful.

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it's now unanimous; you cannot get a POA once a person is deceased. The decedent's estate must be probated to give someone the power to act on behalf of the estate.

HIre an estate litigation attorney immediately. The POA does not give the power holder the right to loot the maker's estate. The POA is to protect and preserve these assets. She has clearly breached her fiduciary duty so the attorney needs to bring an aciton for a complete acconting and a surcharge action to recover these monies. Do not wait another moment as the longer you wait the more these assets will be dissapated or lost.

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Of course, as has been said, a power of attorney cannot be created after the grandmother's death and, in fact, even if there had been a power of attorney in existence, it was not valid after her death.

I think the real question is whether the grandmother has an estate at all. If so, and if proceedings will be undertake to deal with her other assets, the deposit check can be dealt with as part of the estate.

But if the check is the only real asset, I doubt that it is sufficiently large to justify commencing even a small estate proceeding, let alone a probate. It might be possible to cajole the management company into applying the deposit to the new rental agreement, particularly if the girls sign an agreement to indemnify the manager and provide a new deposit if anyone else asserts a claim to the funds.

This comment is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. It does not create an attorney client relationship and obviously is not confidential. You should contact an attorney in your area who can review with you all of the relevant facts and give you specific legal advice.

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