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The Difference Between Power Of Attorney And Executor

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One of the most critical aspects of estate planning is to nominate someone you trust to step in for you when you are unable to act by yourself. Two of the most important of these positions are the estate executor and a power of attorney. The same person can fill the two roles, but the characters themselves are very different.

Buying a property is not an easy task and involves a lot of paperwork. To get 100% satisfaction and to end up your purchase with peace of mind, you must hire the best person. Getting legal help can be tedious, but when you have a guide with you, it can be a cakewalk. 

Let us understand the difference and their roles in detail in this article. 

Who Is An Executor?

An estate executor is a person responsible for the management of the estate throughout the probate process. The probate process is the act of filing the will of the deceased with the appropriate probate court, locating and collecting all the assets, paying off all debts related to the estate, and distributing what remains to the proper beneficiaries.

The executor has to be extremely organized and oriented towards detail. Shepherding an estate through probate involves a lot of evaluation and decision-making and a lot of paperwork.

What Is Power Of Attorney?

Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes a person to make decisions on behalf of someone else, particularly when the latter has become disabled or otherwise is unable to make their own decisions. Someone with attorney authority is also called the prosecutor.

There are a couple of different types of attorney power. The two most common varieties are attorney-general and attorney-medical. General attorney power gives an individual the right to make a wide variety of financial decisions, corporate transactions, retirement plans, and more. Medical attorney power is narrower. An agent with the attorney’s healing power can make decisions about someone who a doctor has found unfit to make his or her own decisions.

What Is The Difference Between Power Of Attorney Vs Executor?

Also, the job description for each role is slightly different, though when you can’t, they both deal with managing your affairs. Your executor has to do a particular and limited job: make sure your estate has enough money to pay off any debts and then channel the rest to your heirs. On the other hand, your agent is broader in their duties. The work could entail ruling on all sorts of decisions – political, legal, and medical – depending on what aspects of your life you gave attorney control over.

When the two roles take effect, the most salient difference between the executor and the agent is. Power of Attorney applies to cases where you work but are unable to make your own decisions. The duties of your executor start only after you pass away.

Can One Person Portray The Role Of Both?

One individual will serve as your lawyer, as well as your will executor. This is not unusual, mainly if you’ve selected a trusted child or another relative for the roles. Neither of the two functions would overlap. Attorney control only functions when you’re alive, and executors only assume responsibility after you die.

You should bear in mind, though, that these are both big jobs with a great deal of responsibility. Appointing the same person to both roles could be a lot of him or her asking. If you find that you are struggling to think about selecting people, you might want to consider looking for an attorney in the field of estate planning.

Highlights Of The Roles

  • It’s a good idea to put together a financial plan that takes care of you and your family before you start to think about the power of attorney and estate planning. 
  • A financial advisor can build a business plan that meets your needs and keep it there. Find a financial advisor that suits the support. 
  • Only answer a few questions about your financial position and priorities, and up to three fiduciary financial advisors in your region will suit you.
  • Your agent may need to make decisions regarding your 401(k) account. Figure out how much money you can get in your savings when you withdraw with our free 401(k) calculator.


The one aspect that should always be at the front and center is the individual’s reliability to be chosen. Suppose you are selecting an executor, trustee, or attorney. In that case, the person you are choosing should be somebody you know very well and somebody you consider to be trustworthy and truthful where possible.

This isn’t generally a problematic choice for married couples with children and adult grandchildren. It is not uncommon for couples to select their spouse as an executor, trustee (if applicable) or agent under a POA, and an alternate or successor with their children.

At the end of your life and beyond your agent and executor will play critical roles in taking care of your affairs. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that you choose people you trust and believe to be highly competent.


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