Power of Attorney ceases to have any effect at the time of death. It would seem that the letter would serve as a Will, but I would suggest that you contact a probate attorney to make sure. It is possible that the daughter may try to object.
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I agree with Attorneys Frederick and Breitmeyer. A power of attorney would not be of any help since the document is no longer effective at the time of the signer's death. However, it is possible that the document could be construed to be a will, depending on your state's law. Please consult with an experienced estate attorney. Good luck to you.
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Arizona recognizes the "holographic will" which only requires that the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the testator. However, you definitely should speak with a probate attorney since it sounds that your acting as the executor will likely be challenged by the daughter particularly if there is a large estate at risk. Also, a lawyer can also help you determine what extrinsic evidence you have to demonstrate your partner's wishes.
Powers of Attorney are effective during a person's life. They help enable a person to designate someone else to make decisions for them if they become unable to do so. These might be financial or healthcare decisions, depending on the document. The requirements for a valid power of attorney are found in Arizona Revised Statutes 14-5501. A last will and testament, on the other hand, enables a person to designate who will receive their assets upon death. Under Arizona Revised Statutes 14-2502 and 14-2503, a valid will need not be notarized.
I would recommend consulting with an attorney to assist you further with this matter.
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