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Ask Dave

Power-of-Attorney for Father?

Carol's father is in a nursing home, and she needs help transferring his will to her estate and what to do with his 401k and home.

QUESTION: Carol’s father is in a nursing home and she has power-of-attorney of her father’s estate.  She wants to know what to do with his will, which is in another state, and the gifts he has specified for his grandchildren after he passes away.  Also, what does she have to do with his other assets like 401k and home?

ANSWER: His estate is there to take care of his debts.  If there’s anything left, it will go to his heirs per his wishes. 

The will has to be done in the state of your residence, so his will may not be valid now that he has moved.  You need to call an estate planner to be sure.  Call Norm Rollins, the Tax Man, or another one of our Endorsed Local Providers in your area.

If he didn’t lose his residence in that other state, the will still has to be probated in that other state, which means you’ll be running back and forth to clean up his estate.

His 401k will be liquidated, but you can keep the house up to a certain value.  When his money runs out though, he will have to go on welfare, and that means he’ll have to be in a Medicaid nursing home.