What are the Differences Between a Power of Attorney and an Executor?

When an estate plan is created, an individual is planning for what will happen to their assets in the event of their death. This allows them to still taken care of their possessions after they are gone. To do so, individuals often appoint another person to help them handle these processes. An executor of an estate may be appointed to carry out the necessary administrative duties to ensure an estate is handled correctly after their death. However, there are some cases in which an individual requires assistance even before their death. Because of this, sometimes a power of attorney is appointed to make decisions for an individual when they are no longer able to do so themselves.

What is an Executor?

An executor may be chosen to take care of the necessary tasks of an estate plan’s administration. This job comes with several responsibilities. An executor’s first job is to bring the deceased’s will to Surrogate Court. This is so that the process of probate may begin and the will can be approved. After a will is approved, an executor is required to handle any outstanding finances that must still be paid. In addition to this, one of the most important parts of estate administration is distributing the deceased’s assets to the proper beneficiaries. If a will is contested, the executor must resolve the issue.

It is important to appoint an executor that can be trusted to do the job properly. If they fail to do so, an executor can be replaced. A new person may be appointed to the position by a judge if the original executor acted negligently in caring for the estate. This means they did not act in the best interest of the deceased who created the estate plan.

What is a Power of Attorney?

The job of a power of attorney is to make important decisions for another individual’s life. If someone is dying or unable to communicate their wishes by themselves, they may have a power of attorney to do so for them. This requires an individual who can be trusted to act in a person’s best interest. Often times, family members or loved ones are chosen for the position.

It is important to know that the power of attorney’s authority is not unlimited. They are only allowed as much influence as they are given by the individual who appoints them. A power of attorney may be given the authority to make decisions regarding health emergencies, financial matters, or other situations.

Contact our Firm

If you have been assigned as a power of attorney or an executor and wish to consult a legal representative, contact JD Katz, Attorneys at Law today.

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.