Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

Absolute Power of Attorney & Probate Process

A relative of mine passed away recently in North Carolina. This relative had given "Absolute Power of Attorney" to his child. His child now thinks that she can continue to use this "Absolute Power of Attorney" to transact business for this relative even though he is dead. This child also thinks that the probate process is not necessary since they are the only child of this relative. This relative does, however, have grandchildren & great- grandchildren. Is the child correct about the "Absolute Power of Attorney?" Is there no need for probate even though there are other heirs?

Asked on 3/30/98, 8:13 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Chris Johnson Christopher B. Johnson, Attorney at Law

Power of attorney: valid after death?

I'm in California, but I am aware of no state allowing a power of attorney extending beyond death.

As for the necessity of probate, this will depend on a lot of factors. However, the property will have to transferred to the appropriate beneficiaries through some means--the means depend on things such as: was there a will? was there a trust? was property held in joint tenancy? how large is the estate? who are the beneficiaries under North Carolina law?

Your relative's child needs to see an attorney in North Carolina--she'll soon run into problems if she doesn't.

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Answered on 4/16/98, 3:55 pm

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