If you are talking about having a POA over your fathers assets, Mr. Frederick is correct. I think you are talking about having a POA over stepmother (with her neice), correct?
You do not use a POA for an estate. A POA terminates upon death. So there is ZERO liability associated with acting under your father's POA, and you no longer have any legal right to do so. You need to be appointed executor or administrator for your father's estate; (we call them personal representatives, in Michigan). That person would have legal authority to do whatever needs to be done with regard to the estate.
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First, please accept my sympathies on your father's passing.
I'm not sure why your attorney advised you not to probate the will. Sometimes there are not enough assets to warrant probate. Sometimes, all of the assets are set up to pass outside the will. Being told that you don't need to probate the assets because you will be able to manage the assets if they pass to your stepmother is odd. With the stress of your father's passing, I wonder if there wasn't a miscommunication. Let some time pass and go back to the attorney for clarification. If you get the same answer, you may want to consult with another probate attorney in your area. In fairness, I am a Georgia attorney with almost no knowledge about Pennsylvania law. I would feel more comfortable, however, getting the same opinion from two different attorneys in this circumstance.
Unless you came into my office, signed a contract and wrote me a check, I am not your attorney, and you are not my client. This is not intended as legal advice and should only be used for informational purposes only. You should never believe any information that you receive on the internet, especially information that is probably being provided in the late evening hours when I should be sleeping.