Do I Need Probate If I Am Power Of Attorney?

Does A Power Of Attorney Still Need a Probate?

attorney and client at a probate hearingLosing a loved one can be devastating, but it also brings with it a responsibility to ensure the wishes of the deceased are followed related to their end-of-life choices. Being the power of attorney of your loved one's estate makes you responsible for making decisions about their assets.

However, does a power of attorney require probate once the loved one passes away? If you were a power of attorney for someone's estate during their lifetime, it doesn't affect whether a probate is needed.

Understanding the role of a power of attorney and the probate process will help you understand whether you need a probate or not if you are a power of attorney.

Understanding the Power of Attorney and the Probate Process

Many people assume being a power of attorney means there is no need for probate. However, this is not the case. Being a power of attorney and the probate process are different things.

Being a power of attorney gives you the right to make decisions on behalf of your loved one during their life. On the other hand, probate is a process that recognizes the will of your loved one and ensures the possessions and property are distributed to the rightful heirs, and all debts and taxes of the deceased are paid.

Power of Attorney’s Responsibility Ceases with Someone’s Death

Your responsibility as a power of attorney ends when your loved one dies, meaning even if you were a power of attorney, the assets of the deceased belong to the deceased’s estate. The administrator or executor of the will would now have the responsibility of administrating the will.

In most cases, a power of attorney is assigned to be the executor of the will. If this is the case, you will need to have a detailed knowledge of the estates to make the probate process easier. If not, then the executor of the will would be informed immediately.

Grant of Probate

The grant of probate is an integral public document that shows the net estate of the deceased at the time of their passing. It also acts as a confirmation of whether a will was left by the deceased. When probate isn't obtained, there won't be any public record. Moreover, probate is needed due to the legal requirement of inheritance tax and the sale or transfer of the deceased's property.

Is Probate Needed?

In most cases, you will require probate even if you are a power of attorney and later become the administrator or executor of the will. After your loved one passes away, you will require legal authority to manage their estate based on their instructions and desires.

You might have had the authority to make relevant decisions during their life, but after their passing, the decision of whether or not a probate is needed would depend on the assets owned by the deceased and whether they were under their sole name.

It is best to seek the consultation of an experienced probate lawyer to help determine whether a probate is needed. After evaluating the situation, your lawyer will advise you on the next steps.

Consult Experienced Probate Lawyers in Denver, CO

The probate process in Denver, CO, can be complicated, and consulting a professional lawyer is important to ensure all legal requirements are met. If you have any concerns about the probate process, our skilled probate lawyers at Evans Case are ready to help. Get in touch to book a no-obligation, free initial consultation with us today.

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