The Elrod Firm


Does A Power of Attorney Avoid Probate?

Melissa, last year Mom named me her Agent under a Power of Attorney. But she still hasn’t done a Trust or Will. Is the Power of Attorney good enough? – Kara

Kara, a Power of Attorney is an essential legal document for almost any adult. I’m glad Mom took that step. However, a Power of Attorney secures a person’s affairs during life, not after death. 

To simplify this idea, we often say, “Your Power of Attorney dies when you die.” For example, after your mom dies, her Power of Attorney won’t give you authority to close her bank account, sell her house, or distribute her assets as she wanted. If your mom doesn’t further plan for what happens to her money, property, and household goods at death, then your family will likely find themselves in Probate Court when she dies. 

Arkansas Probate Court can take 9 months to 1 year or even longer, depending on the people and assets involved. Plus, in Probate Court, approximately 3% of a person’s assets can go to court costs and attorney’s fees. If your mom wishes her assets to flow as hassle-free as possible to her loved ones when she passes, then she needs to do something besides just the Power of Attorney. 

Exactly what type of documents Mom would need depends on the specific details of her situation. We can give your mom options to avoid Probate Court and to fulfill her wishes. 

Call today to set up a no-charge strategy session to find out how we can help with issues like this. To learn more, check out our website,

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