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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??

Attorney Answers 4


  1. 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.

    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the asnwer was a good answer tab below. Thanks. Mr. Geffen is licensed to practice law throughout the state of Texas with an office in Dallas. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States and is licensed to practice in US Tax Court as well as The Court of Claims. This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. 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.

    Nothing posted on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com


  3. 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.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is www.sjfpc.com.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  4. 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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