My mother died and her husbands mom is her Power of Attorney, is she still able to make all the decisions regarding her belongings even after death? There is a will but it is not signed by my mom or anyone so I don't think its legal and this lady thinks she still has say so in everything that is going on and that the will is legal.... Please help!
2 Answers from Attorneys
Powers of attorney expire on death and cannot be used. A probate is necessary.
As noted by Attorney Ashman, powers of attorney end at death. In most cases, the agent under a valid power of attorney no longer has any authority to act on new transactions (only to wind up what was already ongoing maybe) and then hand any final accounting and any assets over to the personal representative of your mother's estate.
If your mother's will was not signed by your mother, either by signature or by a mark or by a direction to sign by another then the will is not valid.
You need to get to a probate attorney who practices in the county where your mother lived at the time of her death NOW! Pay the lawyer to review the alleged will and confirm it is not valid. If it is, then whoever is named as executor in the will would have to take charge. If the will is not valid, then you or any other sibling could apply by petitioning for probate. An attorney could also get a court order if need be freezing any assets in the estate and preventing the mother-in-law from doing anything. Unfortunately though, you indicate your mother had a living spouse. If so, then he will be presumed to be first in line as an executor if there is no will. If his mother is alive and still controlling him, then its going to be a wild and expensive ride. If there is no will, he will be entitled to one-third to one-half of the assets depending on how many other children your mother had.