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If a POA closes a bank account after the death of a Person doesn't the money have to be listed in the estate inventory since it

Augusta, WV |

was after the death.. As a matter of Fact I thought that anything recieved after death becomes part of the estate..

Attorney Answers 3


You are correct. If the account was solely owned by one individual, who had a POA while they were alive, the POA ends at death and the account would be a probate asset (an asset owned by a single individual at death). The probate estate is legally handled by the executor/administrator as the powers of the agent under the POA absolutely end at the death of the principal.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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I agree with Attorney Zelinger. Unless the agent acted fraudulently, which COULD be the case, it is possible that the account was either joint with the agent or designated the agent as beneficiary. If this was set up in this manner BY the agent under the POA, then you should be able to challenge it in probate. If it was set up by the decedent, then it will likely be VERY difficult to challenge.

There are MANY times when assets pass to joint owners or beneficiaries at the time of death, by operation of law. This would only be unusual, if the account was titled in the decedent's name alone.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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Attorneys Zelinger and Frederick are correct. If the account was solely-owned by the decedent, then it passes into the decedent's probate estate at his death. If the account was held as joint tenants with right of survivorship, then it goes to the surviving joint tenant.

In both instances, it does not matter whether the underlying account was subject to a POA. The underlying titling controls. This is due to the fact that when a person appoints an attorney-in-fact in a POA, the attorney-in-fact manages not only solely-owned assets, but jointly held assets.

It is, unfortunately, possible that the person holding the POA abused his or her power and changed the titling of the decedent's accounts. I would urge you to retain a solid probate lawyer to make sure that this isn't the case. Good luck to you.

This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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