I'm worried about down the road when my Aunt passes away. As of now I'm my Aunt's Durable Power of Attorney. I'm also, her executor of her living Will.
I have access to her bank account as her POA. But, I was told after death POA is void. "Stops". We don't have a Joint bank account. I'm just on her bank account as her POA.
Since, I'm not on her account as Joint accounts. If she would pass away today?
How would I get access to her funds to pay for funeral costs ?
As I am her POA can I simply use one of my Aunt's checks to pay for her funeral costs? Even tho POA stops after death?
How would I do this?
After death, how would I get funds to pay for my Aunt's funeral costs?
I will be the person that will be incharge of barring her as funeral costs. My Aunt's alive now but,it just got me thinking what will I do when she passes away?
As of now she's 88 yrs old with dementia.To get her out and about to get anything changed is about a loss cause. She has a plot next to her Husbend.
She lost all of her importance paper work as plot deed, life insurance and whatever else she may have had. How would I find any life insurance policies she may have? Without knowing who the companies maybe?

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Many do not know that coffins and urns can be purchased online and the funeral home HAS to use them - with significant savings and they can be delivered overnight. Also, if cremation is an option - shop around. In our area the costs can vary from under $1000 to nearly $3000 for the SAME service. When my father died many years ago the Funeral Director told us that a person CAN be buried for the amount that SS gives them. It is not a fancy funeral - they use a cardboard type coffin - we saw them - it did not look bad - had wood-grain contact paper on outside and the lid and interior were taffeta not silk. The edges did not fold down and it had plastic handles. If it was not sitting near a fancier one - most would not know. You have to ASK to see these coffins - they hide them - (wonder why). We plan to buy our urns from Costco.

The one thing you do not want to do is wait until you are faced with a funeral to start educating yourself. Also, Family owned homes usually cost less - but they are hard to find. Someone who has been in business a long time and owns their building and has not built a brand new fancy facility might be a better choice too. Emotions run high with Funerals and Directors do take advantage of that. Know what you want and insist on getting it for the least amount you can. Shop around pre-need and don't fall for the sales pitch - no matter how kindly they seem - they are trying to get you to spend as much as possible. The name of the game is emotional spending. Just the way it is.

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I agree with pstiegman. You can pre-plan for her funeral/burial costs now. As her POA you can call the preferred funeral home and buy one of their prearranged packages. Do you know what her wishes are? Burial? Cremation? Does she want a funeral and where does she want it (a church? which church?). If your aunt's dementia prevents her from discussing all of this then just plan whatever you think she would like.

As executor of her will I'm not sure that means that you inherit her debt. You would be the person who might handle the business of whatever debt your aunt may have but I don't think being the executor means that you will be responsible for paying off all of her debt.

It's good to think about these things. They need to be dealt with. I'm glad you brought this up here and I hope you find some answers to your questions.
Helpful Answer (1)

You can go to a funeral director, pre-plan and pre-pay for the funeral. You can also establish a burial fund in a separate account; her bank can help you set one up. $10K would be a reasonable amount. The cemetery where her husband is buried can tell you the plot # with a phone call. If she has life insurance, she should be receiving annual statements from the insurance company, look for them in her mail. If she has a safe deposit box at the bank, the policies may be there. If her husband had life insurance, chances are she was with the same company. If she had savings bank life insurance, her bank can help you.
Helpful Answer (3)

(If it is that much of a concern to you, consider paying basic costs up front out of her existing funds without going overboard.)
In reply,
I have no idea how to do this stuff first timer for me. Most people get warnings of their love ones dieing as taking a toll for the worst. And most there is no warnings. If my Aunt dies tomarrow I have no idea how this stuff is done. I'm her DPOA but,was told after death the POA isn't worth a apple. As POAs void after death.
I am her executor of her living Will. It states in the Will I'm responsable for funeral debt and any other debt after death. So, when she dies her money will be my money to pay for her funeral. How will I be able to obtain thos funds after her death to pay the funeral cost & ect? Sounds like I need to call a funeral home with that question?Death comes with no warning.I was wondering if I will be able to write a check from my Aunt's funds to pay the funeral home when /if that time comes?
I've asked my Aunt if she wants to go make these arrangments? She says no. She don't want to waste her time with funeral stuff. I think she feels she has time to do this. She's 88 yrs old, times a ticking. Sooner or later something has to be done.
She could out live me who knows. But, I am her POA and executor of her living Will. When the time comes I hope I don't run into problems.
I would hate for my Aunt to pass away one day. After she passed away the family will be asking me when is the funeral. I'm stuck saying I'm waiting to have access to her funds so I can pay the bill to have a funeral. The Aunt may have to seat on ice for weeks before I'm able to get her funds to pay. I don't want that to happen.
How does this stuff work?
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If it is that much of a concern to you, consider paying basic costs up front out of her existing funds without going overboard. If she already has the plot, that should help some.

As for her policies, etc., work with her to go thru house, files, safety deposit boxes, public records, old mail, old receipts, old tax records, etc to find out details on estate, investments, bank accts, stocks, pensions, insurance, annuities.

If you have the DPOA you might just call insurance companies in your town she might have dealt with and ask them if they have her listed and if they have her current mailing address to send her notices or updates on her policies of record. It's the slow way, but might be cheapest. Most elders have their car insurance, property insurance and life insurance with the same company or local carriers.

Good luck.
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