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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53669
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My aunt has written a will and left me her condo. I now have

Customer Question

My aunt has written a will and left me her condo. I now have a contract on it and is to settle this May. I am the POA for her and she is now in Hospice care. I received a small life insurance check to help pay for her care. Even though I sent them the POA papers, they sent the insurance check in her name. When I went to my bank, they said I would have to deposit in her account and withdraw. They also mentioned I would need a POD if she dies.
The POA is very extensive and the will is clear. DO I need to worry about this?
Julie Cunningham
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 6 months ago.
Good evening Julie. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. The problem is that the POA you have automatically terminates upon your aunt's death. As soon as she dies, you have no further authority under the POA and the executor under will is in charge of her estate and must file the will for probate and get officially appointed as executor so anyone relying upon the executor knows for sure such executor has officially been appointed by the court pursuant to a valid will. If the property has appreciated substantially, you really want to wait until she dies to close on the property because upon her death you get a step up in the basis of the property to its fair market value so that when you sell it, you'll recognize no gain on the sale. What you can do as POA, is to transfer title to the property to yourself by quit claim deed and reserve a life estate in your aunt. That will preserve the adjustment to fair market value at death and the life estate automatically terminates at death with title vesting in you without probate; that will allow you to close quickly after her death. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!