My father passed recently, his father had dementia and he knew his was coming. I live in the South, my father's family lives in the North. It took about 8 years to get to him. Prior to his illness, we decided instead of retiring to S.C. he was going to stay in New England and that his sister was the best to take care of his affairs because he was to be close by. His house was sold and he lived in a great care facility, couldn't ask for better. However, it was very hard for me to get any information or updates. She did great for him, I'm not saying any different, but it is time for me to think about my siblings. They were estranged and I only had contact with him, however, I know from previous discussions that he wanted to leave something to his children and grandchildren. I'm not sure how to approach this with my Aunt, we have only discussed me picking up storage of his boxes of old memorabilia(report cards, christmas letters to santa and photos). As POA, does she have full control of his estate..she never liked my brother or sister, and I'm not sure would give them anything if it were up to her? I just want to do what my father would want and what is fair....
Now if the unusual and odd circumstance is extant that there IS no will, then the nearest next of kin who was in contact with Dad may be appointed as administrator of the estate (Executor). It is basically who applies in court to serve, and the court agreeing they are a good executor. The Aunt may already applied to be administrator of the estate. IF there is no will then the estate will be deivided among Dad's children according to the laws of HIS state, and irregardless of how he felt about the children. If however there is a will, that will will already state which siblings get what.
The house contents, dad's personal items any autos are already a part of that estate. The administrator gathers all parts of the estate together and then distributes the percentages as the state dictates in absence of a will.
Best of luck, and sorry for your loss.
Just as an aside, you did not give POA to the aunt. Your Father did. Only a person can give POA to another person to act for him or her, not that person's children. If YOU are estranged from this aunt to the extent you are unable to ask her where the will is and who is the executor then you can consider a lawyer letter from you in which YOUR lawyer asks the aunt for information of location of Dad's will, who is executor, and has process of distribution of any remaining estate been started.
Assisted Living, Memory Care and skilled nursing facilities are very costly in the North East. 10 years ago, my mother's INDEPENDENT Living facility cost 5k per month. NH was 11k per month. That was in 2013 prices.
If you can find nothing like that, you will have to bring it up with your aunt. Ask her to go through all the paperwork with you, and ask her if she has found his will. If you know what the old will said, write it down now. If you know that a firm of lawyers helped draw it up, contact them – wills are often left in solicitors’ strong boxes (it usually means they get to do the legal probate work).
如果没有官方的文件,它是阿宝ssible that your aunt thinks that she is still in charge because of her POA, without realising that it stops on your father’s death. Explain to her, and get her to check with legal advice if she doesn’t take it in. However it’s also possible that she is hiding the will and other papers, or has destroyed the will if she did not like what it said. If you get that feeling, you will probably need to get legal advice and a ‘frightener’ lawyers letter. It would be a great pity if the relationship ended like this, but it is always possible. Looking at the worst case, it is also possible that aunt has taken assets for herself. Unfortunately if she has destroyed the papers, you may find that there is little that you can do. However many legal matters end up being settled, which is where your notes about what you can remember about the splits come in.
I haven’t yet stated the obvious point about money. If your father’s estate contains very few assets, legal costs aren’t justified, though ‘shame’ can be important as leverage. Good luck!
I'm a lawyer by training, did my articles mostly in probate, and this is the advice I would give to a client or a friend.