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You are incorrect in that assumption. A durable POA allows the person with the POA to act on behalf of the person who made it out even when they become incapacitated (placed in a nursing home or mental facility). POAs do not survive death. Your latter statement is correct. In many states, however, an expedited process exists called a "small estate affidavit" which is MUCH quicker, cheaper and easier than going through a probate action. I recommend you search on www.martindale.com for an attorney in the county where the decedent resided and who specializes in probate. Ask them about expedited probate or "small estate affidavits" and whether this case qualifies. Good Luck,