Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Georgia

if you have filled out a wheel and you already have a executor and you want to change the executor can a general power power of attorney take the place of the will?

Asked on 5/25/13, 5:13 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office
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I am guessing you mean a will and not a wheel. Filled out implies you tried to do this with a form, and that makes it likely what you have is not proper or valid, so you have a legal emergency and need to see a lawyer. To change an executor you need a proper new will to replace the old one (it can be done also by codicil but that is a big mistake). A power of attorney expires when you did, so it is completely the opposite of a will. Again, you need a lawyer ASAP. None of this is likely to be done right with forms.

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Answered on 5/25/13, 6:00 pm
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A general power of attorney is for people who are alive NOW. Wills only become operative when a person dies. So a power of attorney will not take the place of any will.

I agree with Attorney Ashman that you either would need a new will or a codicil. If you are only changing the name of the executor (your will should also name a back up) then you can use a codicil but codicils have to be executed (signed, witnessed and notarized) just like a will. Re-doing a will is not a big deal nowadays, so if the will was done a long time ago or was a do-it-yourself job, then you should just get a new will done by an attorney.

Wills are not all that expensive - please get one done by me or another GA-attorney if you are in GA. If you screw something up by doing it yourself, you may be leaving your family a big lawsuit instead of an inheritance. So please - get an estate planning lawyer. And you also need to have other documents - you should have a financial power of attorney in the event that you become incapacitated and a health care power/living will to cover health care decisions in the event you cannot make decisions for yourself.

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Answered on 5/26/13, 11:39 pm

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