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What’s the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Executor?

by | Feb 1, 2022 | Power of Attorney, Wills & Personal Planning

First of all, a power of attorney is a legal document and an executor is a legal role. While the person given a power of attorney and a chosen executor share some related roles, there are some big differences between the two, and these roles are often misunderstood. The main difference between when a power of attorney is used and when an executor is needed, is that the power of attorney can be used if needed while someone is alive and the document has no use after someone’s death. The executor has no role until after a person’s death.

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legal document used to give another individual (or an agent) the authority to act on someone’s behalf while that person is still alive. Power of attorney is often needed when someone is incapacitated, or unable to represent themselves in a legal matter.

Power of attorney can be granted to an agent for a short period or an indefinite period. It is important to note that a power of attorney document is separate from a will. Furthermore, in all cases, a power of attorney will become invalid after the individual dies. What is important to know about a power of attorney of that it needs to be prepared while someone still has the capacity to do so. If you are too sick to execute legal documents then it is too late to prepare a power of attorney. That is why it is so important to prepare one before you need it.

An Executor

An Executor is an agent who is given the power to manage someone’s estate once they have passed. The executor will be responsible for making sure all of the person’s affairs are handled as specified in the will.

The executor handles many responsibilities and has the power to gather and distribute assets, file tax returns, and settle debts.

Unlike a power of attorney, an executor has no power when the individual is alive. The executor and power of attorney can be the same person, but it is important to note that they are different roles.

Do Not Overlook a Power of Attorney Or an Executor

A power of attorney and an executor are roles that everyone should be aware of. Understanding the unique purposes of these roles will help individuals make an informed decision.

Zancope Notary can help anyone create a will or power of attorney. We can notarize and handle legal document signings such as a power of attorney, will, and more. Contact us today to get started.

At Zancope Notary Public, our specialty is Wills and Estate Planning documents (Representation Agreement and Power of Attorney). We are a full-service firm with two notaries full time at the office. We also offer real estate services for clients in Langley and throughout Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. We can help you with buying, selling, and refinancing real estate, and provide family property transfers and independent legal advice.

If you have any questions about this article or estate planning, in general, or if you want to make an appointment with Zancope Notary Public, please contact us at (604) 260-6783.


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