What Is the Difference between a Power of Attorney and Executor of a Will?
The person who is granted power of attorney and the executor of a will serve very different functions. Indeed, while both are generally appointed by the principal, one serves before and the other after the death of the will's creator. Kingwood estate lawyers can help you appoint a power of attorney or executor to your will.
Power of Attorney
The person who appoints the power of attorney is called the principal. The appointee becomes attorney-in-fact under the power of attorney. This individual serves functions as the principal designates during his lifetime. These functions may be very limited, such as the signing of a deed in the purchase of a property. The powers granted may be broad ranging as well. For instance, the appointee may be granted medical power of attorney and thereby be able to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal should that person become incapacitated.
The same or another individual may be granted financial power of attorney to pay bills, collect rent or other income, and handle the general finances of the principal if that person has become incapacitated. The power of attorney may last for the remainder of the principal's life or for a very limited time.
It is important to keep in mind that granting power of attorney to an individual does not guarantee that other entities will accept the representative. A bank or title company, for instance, may not be willing to accept the representative unless the principal has included what is referred to as “durable language.” Durable language means that the power of attorney is to remain in effect regardless of whether the principal becomes incompetent or not.
Executor of a Will
The authority granted to an individual with power of attorney ends either before or at the death of the principal. The authority of a will's executor, by contrast, begins when the probate court accepts the will as valid and the judge signs an order termed Letters Testamentary. The executor has the authority to pay off debts and taxes owed by the estate and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. If the beneficiaries feel that the executor is not acting in their best interests, they can petition the court to remove him from the position.
For Further Information or Legal Assistance
Having a will that reflects your current affairs and wishes is very important. You may wish to hire Kingwood estate lawyers to help you update your will. Call the Peterson Law Group today at 281-609-0664 or 832-786-5062.