Recently, I have had a number of people come to my office asking for a power of attorney so that they could administer the estate of a deceased relative. This does not work in Utah.
A power of attorney must be signed by the person granting the power of attorney (post mortem signatures are ineffective!) and they cease to be effective upon the death of the person granting the power. If you need authority to administer the “estate” of a deceased relative, you either need to be a named executor in the relative’s will or the successor trustee named in the relative’s trust documents or … if there is no will or trust and the estate still needs to be administered, you may need to file probate. In some instances in Utah, a small estate can be taken care of by a simple affidavit. Remember – just because something works in one state doesn’t mean it will work in Utah. If you know someone who had a power of attorney that relatives used to administer an estate in a different state or country, that doesn’t mean that it will work here in happy valley.
For more information, call Drew.