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A long-time friend (26yrs) was in the hospital after a hospice nurse made a home visit and suggested she go for treatment of cellulittis. Several days later, in the morning, paperwork to transfer her was being completed to release her to a rehab facility instead of going directly home. After lunch she took a dramatic turn, called me and said she was turning everything over to me to handle. By the time I got to the hospital, the hospice social worker, hospital chaplain, a notary and a nurse were in her room. She told me she had just executed papers for the funeral home and for me to handle her wishes. They were making copies and had called for transport to take her to the hospital that had a hospice wing.
She proceeded to tell me her final wishes, creditors and what she wanted her sole heir (nephew in another area of US) to receive. I received copies of the papers when transport arrived. She passed several hours later.
The papers I received were the release to a named funeral home for cremation and a DPOA in all affairs as if I were her. She did not have a 'will on file' nor an executor designated. I believe her intent was for me to handle the estate (appears to be more expenses than assets) but nephew believes it should be him with regard to financial and for I to go through / dispose of the personal property. He has tried to contact her employer who said the DPOA expired upon her death and he needed to have executor papers. The mortgage company is willing to talk with me upon receipt of the DPOA and death certificate. They told the nephew they couldn't talk to him without executor papers and he has asked me not to talk with them. The house is about to go into foreclosure if they do not hear anything. Daily they have been calling my deceased friend's cell phone (that I have and answered once when I told them she passed, asked a question and was told to fax the DPOA and death certificate). Who should go to probate and be named executor? Both her nephew and I live out of state. I, a little closer and come her a few days a month. Does the DPOA expire upon death?

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DPOA ends at death. With no Will, you must file a petition with county court in her county of residence, asking to be the person who administers the estate. The nephew can do the same.
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Yes, DPOA ends at death - all powers of attorney end at death. One of you will have to petitition the court to be named as executor. If she didn't have a will on file, she will be considered to have died "intestate" and the rules in her state of residence will determine who is her heir, etc. Heirs are usually the first considered when executor is appointed, but a judge may take into consideration paperwork left near death.
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