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Executor VS Durable Power of Attorney for finance and medical care?

Status: Open    Dec 12, 2016 - 01:23 PM

Elder Law > Guardianship

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Dec 15, 2016 - 08:43 AM

The answer is not which but both. The Executor and Attorney-in-fact do the same things but at different times. The power in power of attorney dies with the principal (the person who gives the power). An executor has power after submitting the Will to the probate court, administrator if there is no Will. Personal Representative is used in many places interchangably with either executor or administrator. This is only after death and appointment by a probate judge.
I usually suggest that a person have a Power of Attorney to take care of finance, banking and property issues; a Health Care Power of Attorney (could be different people) to assist with medical problems and a Will or other estate planning such as a trust, POD, joint account, etc.
I hope this helps. I suggest you seek personal adivce from a local estate planning or elder law attorney.

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Dec 15, 2016 - 09:27 AM

An Executor only has authority at a person's death and that authority is granted through a Last Will and Testament. An Executor has no authority over a person's affairs while that person is still alive.

An Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney has authority over a person while that person is alive and can handle their affairs for them. However, the Power of Attorney document itself spells out the exact scope of the authority. For example, an agent under a Power of Attorney will have no ability to make health care decisions for a person unless the document itself states that the agent has that power.

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