Raleigh, NC asked in Probate for North Carolina

Q: Can my father transfer power of attorney to me my mom passed away 12/18/2022. He is legally married but seperated.

They have been separated since 2002. He resides in Mexico and he wants me to take care of all her finances.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: It sounds to me like you are saying your father has a power of attorney for your mother, and can he transfer that power of attorney for your mom to you.

A power of attorney does not survive the death of the person who signed it. Because your mom passed away 12/18/2022, any power of attorney she signed is no longer valid.

Any finances she had passed to her estate upon her death (unless she had a POD on the account in which case they passed to whomever is named in the POD).

I would not attempt to do anything with your mom's power of attorney now that she is dead. It could expose you to civil liability and it may even, in some instances, be a crime.

If your mom has a will, whomever your mom named in her will as the executor of her estate needs to probate her will. If your mom didn't have a will, either you or one of her other children should file an intestate probate proceeding and ask to be named as the administrator of her estate.

You should consult an attorney experienced in probate law in or near the county where your mom lived at the time of her death. He/she can give you the best advice on how to proceed in probate court to address your mom's finances.

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