Skip to main content

How do a get power of attorney for a deceased family member?

Lanham, MD |

Mother passed away yesterday and we need to gain access to her retail property.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 7


You dont need a POA you need letters of special administration. You should contact a probate attorney immediately for assistance.

The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.


I am very sorry for your loss. A power of attorney is only valid when the person is alive. Now that your mother has deceased you must go through the probate process.

This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you because you have not yet retained me, and because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of all the FACTS in your legal situation. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. This answer is provided as GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and to assist you in beginning your own research or in finding an attorney to represent you. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. If you want me to provide legal advice, then you must call for a Consultation. If you would like me to represent you, then a Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.


POA only available from the living. You need to open an estate perhaps; contact an estates lawyer where she lived and ask.

No legal representation exists by virtue of this answer. Consult your attorney. Licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois. Circular 230 Disclosure: any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein.


I am very sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, as noted by counsel, a Power of Attorney will not assist you. Please contact an attorney in your mother's state of residence to assist you with any necessary probate court filing.

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. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


To get letters of administration, you must bring a copy of the death certificate to the register of wills, the original Will, and the completed petition for probate and related forms. They are available, on-line, but are not always easy to prepare. It takes some homework on the part of the designated personal representative to get the papers together in order to open the estate. And you will be surprised to learn that each County handles their estate filings in a slightly different way.

David Raymond Mahood

David Raymond Mahood


A very detailed and helpful explanation as always.


I agree with my colleagues. Probate will be necessary to gain access to your mother's assets. The probate court will appoint an executor or administrator for the estate and literally give that person "letters" of authority to take control of the assets. Since your mother died so recently, it is unlikely you will be able to act, right away. You usually cannot open a probate estate until you have a certified copy of the death certificate.

I would suggest that you deal with the funeral and arrangements this week and work through the grieving process. When you have the death certificates, you should meet with a probate attorney to determine what needs to be done to get probate started.

I am very sorry for your loss.

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!


In regard to the retail property, is this property owned solely by your mother, or it part of a partnership or other business entity? If solely owned by your mother you need to go through probate, and have a personal representative appointed, who will handle the affairs. If other business entity, it may be different, I strongly suggest you seek ledal advice.

The answer presented is for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and is not offered for and does not constitute financial advice, tax planning or legal advice or legal opinion on any specific fact or issue. Additionally, both federal and state law change. Therefore, use this answer for information purposes only. Consequently, you should contact an elder law attorney.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer