The Executor of Estate vs. Power of Attorney—What Is the Difference?

Create a Power of Attorney The Executor of Estate vs. Power of Attorney—What Is the Difference?

The Executor of Estate vs. Power of Attorney—Debunked

Choosing someone to take care of your assets and act on your behalf once you’re no longer able to is the most important part of planning your estate. You should select someone who you trust and who can take that responsibility.

In this article, we’ll explain the key executor of estate vs. power of attorney differences and answer questions about these roles.

Power of Attorney and Executor of Estate—Explained

To appoint the best person for each role, you should learn what a power of attorney agent and executor of the estate are. You can find the details in the table below:


Role Explanation
Executor of estate An executor of an estate (executor of will) is an individual you choose to manage your estate once you pass away. The responsibilities of the executor of will include:

  • Filing your will with the proper probate court
  • Locating and gathering the assets
  • Paying off all estate-related debts
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will
Power of attorney A power of attorney agent (or attorney-in-fact) is a person you appoint to handle your medical, financial, and personal affairs if you become mentally or physically incapable. When you sign a power of attorney document, you agree to grant your agent(s) the power to make decisions for you and take control over your assets. There are several power of attorney types and subtypes, some of which are:

What Is the Difference Between a Power of Attorney and an Executor of Will?

What makes a power of attorney and an executor of will different are:

  • Time of execution—A power of attorney takes effect when you are no longer capable of making your decisions and handling your assets. Your POA agent should start managing your affairs once you become incapacitated. If not stated otherwise in the document, the POA terminates when you die. The role of an executor of will takes effect once you pass away
  • Role specifics—An executor of an estate usually has brief and specific tasks to do. Their main job is to make sure there’s enough money to pay off your debts and give the rest to your heirs. Once they take care of that, their job is done. Unlike executors, power of attorney agents are in charge of managing your affairs for longer periods. It also involves different types of duties, such as making decisions on legal and financial matters and similar

Can a Power of Attorney and Executor Be the Same Person?

The answer to this question is yes—they can. You can choose one person to be your power of attorney agent and the executor of your will. The duties of these rules do not overlap because the first one manages your business while you’re alive and the second after you die.

People often appoint one person to act as both, especially if they trust a child or other close family member to take care of these matters. Before making such a decision, you should keep in mind that both of these roles come with great responsibility—it may be overwhelming for one person to take care of everything. You should consider choosing a different person for each of the roles or having more than one POA agent.

Can an Executor Appoint a Power of Attorney?

In certain circumstances, yes, they can. If an executor of an estate is temporarily unavailable, they can delegate their duties to a power of attorney agent. The attorney-in-fact will perform the executor’s job until the executor is available again. This can occur when the executor is out of state or otherwise physically incapable of doing their job at the moment.

How Can I Create a Power of Attorney?

The sooner you appoint someone to take care of your assets while you’re alive, the better. Here’s how you can write a power of attorney letter:

  1. Pay a lawyer to do it—This option is generally the most reliable since you have a professional doing the hard work for you. What you should be aware of is that lawyers charge a lot for this kind of service
  2. Download a power of attorney template—The other method of creating a POA document is doing it on your own by using a template. There are many templates online, the majority of which are free. While paying nothing to get your POA sounds appealing, templates are not the most reliable option because they tend to be more general than you’d want
  3. Opt for DoNotPay—If paying the exorbitant lawyer charges is a no-go for you and you don’t want to risk your POA being way too general, there is another way! Register for DoNotPay, and let us draft a power of attorney document within minutes

Draw Up Your Power of Attorney Promptly Using DoNotPay

With DoNotPay and our easy-to-use Power of Attorney feature, you don’t have to worry about spending too much money on lawyer fees or rely on non-specific templates.

Here’s everything you need to do:

  1. Open DoNotPay
  2. Find the Power of Attorney product
  3. Answer our chatbot’s questions

You will instantly receive your power of attorney letter, alongside two notices for you and your attorney-in-fact to read before signing the document.

In some states, power of attorney documents have to be notarized. If that’s the case in your area, don’t fret—we can help with that too! While answering our chatbot’s questions, specify whether you need a notary, and we’ll connect you with one in no time.

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