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Do I need something signed to pay a friend’s bills after death?

Posted on Thu Dec 17, 2015, on Estate Planning

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Paying Bills for the Deceased

Most Recently Updated August 1, 2018.

“My friend who lives in Philadelphia asked me to pay off his bills from his checking account if he passes away. Am I able to use that as proof or do I need something signed saying so?”

Paying Bills for the Deceased

Paying Bills for the Deceased

You seem to be asking about two legal items that both should be in writing. The first is a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a document that one person signs giving a second person (the Agent) the right to act for the first person. A power of attorney can be very broad (A General Power of Attorney) or narrow (Special Power of Attorney). But, a power of attorney ends at death, so if your friend gives you one it only can last during his or her lifetime.

After death, the person who can act for the deceased is called the Executor or the Personal Representative (the name differs from state to state). That person is named in a will, which must also be in writing. If your friend dies without a will, then his family will be able to open his estate with the Philadelphia County Register of Wills. However, as you are not family, you would be left out. If your friend wants you to take care of bill paying, that needs to be in writing. He should consult with an experienced Philadelphia Estate Planning Attorney to get it right.

More Probate Questions?

Paying Bills for the Deceased is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Paying Bills for the Deceased

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining Paying Bills for the Deceased. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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Executor, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Power of Attorney, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer

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