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The Experience of a Rookie Power of Attorney Series, the Last Blog



When my iPhone rang at 1:25am, I knew who it was, Hospice. I was informed that Alma had passed. After crying for some time, I thought I better get up and start working on things that needed to be done. Contacting close friends, neighbors, attorney, and family to let them know of her passing.

The funeral home called me later that day indicating they had received Alma and would prepare her for cremation. Yes, another decision the POA makes unless it was stated in the Will. Since there was no family in the U. S., I made the decision for cremation and created the agenda for the Celebration of Life, day and time. I contacted friends, college roommates and family asking for photos to create the video tribute to Alma. The funeral home had said there was room for up to 30 photos and I thought, I will never get to that number, no worries. The photographs began to pour in to me and then I had so many I had to start making decisions about which ones would be shown on the video.

Today’s technology is amazing. The Celebration of Life was streamed and there were folks watching from five continents. A suggestion for the Celebration of Life is to keep it as upbeat as possible. Ask folks to come to the podium and speak about the loved one, sharing some experiences or attributes. This helps to create a broad perspective of the individual for whom the celebration is being held.

There is still much to do after the person’s passing. If there are any credit cards or other accounts that are still active, reconcile them, and close them. Keep the checking account open for some time until all the refunds from policies, memberships, etc. have been received and accounts are closed. The attorney may need some information from you as they prepare to distribute any monies to the beneficiaries. Again, this may take some time.

Depending on who is the Trustee, they will need copies of the past several years of federal (or state) tax returns as a return will need to be filed the following year for the current year. Also, copies of bank statements and any reconcilements that have been completed. Once the tax return information has been gathered, it will need to be sent to an accountant for preparation.

On a personal note, while this experience was emotional, frustrating, and challenging, I have learned a great deal and would have done over again if needed by my friend. I felt that as someone who knew nothing about being a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Surrogate, or Trustee, I wanted to share my “rookie” experience so others may be more prepared.

I hope you and your family have enjoyed this series of blogs about my experience as a "rookie" power of attorney. It impacted my life and caused me to prepare, I hope it did the same for you. 

Thank you for reading the blog series and now I will return to image, brand, and culture topics as usual.


Until next month, Nyda 







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