What is the difference between your Power of Attorney and your Personal Representative? by Tony B. Manns
Your Power of Attorney (“POA”) or attorney-in-fact is the person who has the power to act in your place while you are still alive. Your POA is able to pay your bills and handle your financial duties for you. Your POA has no authority to do anything once you pass away. At that time, the powers provided to your POA cease.
In your Last Will & Testament (“Will”), you will name a person to act as the Personal Representative of your estate. It might be your spouse, child, or a trusted friend. This is the person who will collect and inventory your assets at the time of your death, potentially pay any debts remaining, and ultimately distribute your assets to the person(s) listed in your Will. Your Will does not cover what happens or provide for any powers while you are still alive.
You should consult your elder law attorney to ensure that your POA and Personal Representative selections are up-to-date and accurate for your specific needs and tailored to your requests.