How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Nate Your Own Question
Nate, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10685
Experience:  Over 10 years of legal estate experience.
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Nate is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have had power of attorney over my Moms financial affairs

This answer was rated:

I have had power of attorney over my Mom's financial affairs in Mississippi for the past year, prior to her passing away recently. I am 1 of 7 children and there is no will. How do I proceed to be the executor of her estate with 7 adult children who frequently don't agree. The only substantial asset is a house which my Mom wanted to be saved for her one disabled child. Also, there is a small amount in a bank account, which I have signature authority, and right of survivorship. (I will be traveling to MS this week, and live out of state.)

1. Do I have authority to spend the cash funds on her funeral service?
2. How do I maintain the legal authority to manage the estate settlement (and prevent the house from being abandoned)?
3. Is there any economical way to sell the house thru a real estate agent without going thru probate first? (The assessed value of the house is about $35,000, but the market value is probably less.)
My name isXXXXX have been a licensed attorney for over ten years and will be assisting you today.

The money in that account is entirely yours since you have survivorship. It does not pass into the estate, so you certainly have the authority to spend it on final expenses (and the right to reimbursement from the estate if you so choose).

If there was no will, the rules of intestate succession apply. That means that the assets (once liabilities are paid) will be paid equally to all the children.

As for becoming administrator of the estate, you must first open the estate in probate court. You can request that you be named administrator. If your siblings contest your request, the court will hold a hearing and decide who would be best to administer the estate.

In order to sell the house, you would first have to be appointed administrator. Now what your mother has passed, there is no longer anyone available who has the legal authority to sign the deed for a sale. The only person who would have that authority would be the administrator of her estate.

You would start by filing a Petition for Letters of Administration. There are forms online you can use, such as here

The local court clerk may have forms to use, too.

If you have more questions please feel free to ask. I'll be happy to answer them. If you do not, please do remember to rate my service in assistance to you today.

Nate and 6 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you