Answer: Yes. The Agent’s authority dies when the principle dies.
Like so many useful and good things in life, an agent’s authority must end. In this case, under the law, an agent’s authority under a Durable Financial Power of Attorney will end when the principle dies.
The applicable Wisconsin statute tells us how a power of attorney can end in Cheeseland. One way is the death of the principle… but there are other interesting ways, too.
Here it is …. [With some commentary]:
Wisconsin statue 244.10 – Termination of power of attorney or agent’s authority.
(1) A power of attorney terminates when any of the following occurs:
(a) The principal dies.
(b) The principal becomes incapacitated, if the power of attorney so provides. [Durable FPOA states that it does not end in this instance, but the “Durable” status does not stop it from ending when the principle dies]
(c) The principal revokes the power of attorney.
(d) The power of attorney provides that it terminates. [Often an expiration date or upon an event]
(e) The purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished.
(f) The principal revokes the agent’s authority or the agent dies, becomes incapacitated, or resigns, and the power of attorney does not provide for another agent to act under the power of attorney. [Be sure to list a successor agent or two listed on your DFPOA … just in case]
People often assume that, as the financial power of attorney, they continue to have the power to act for their loved one following his or her death. That is just not true. Put simply, a financial power of attorney is no longer valid after death. It dies with the principle.
More information on powers of attorneys, See: Living without Legal Capacity