What rights does my older brother and I have in all this hoarding and selling? 2 Answers as of June 26, 2017

My parents recently died. My dad died December 10, 2016 and my mom died March 17, 2017. Both died at home peacefully. My younger brother has Power of Attorney. I am not sure what rights the power of attorney gives him because it was made out before my mom died. She was in a nursing home at the time. My brother has taken my mother's jewelry, guns, my mom's life insurance policy. He has either sold it or has it stored on his property or cashed things in. He called on March 20 2017 and said that he had a cash offer on the house.

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Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
Power of attorney no longer matters, after the principal has died. Your mother and father should have wills, which will govern the disposition of their property. If they did not have wills (they died "intestate") then any one of you siblings can open probate, and demand the return of all of their property for purposes of administration.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/26/2017
Oliver & Duncan | Donald E. Oliver
If your brother was using a power of attorney to administer your mother's estate after she died, he was acting without any legal authority. The main documents folks use to provide for handling their estates are (1) a Will, which only becomes effective when the testator (the person who signs the Will) dies, and (2) a Power of Attorney which allows their attorney in fact to administer their estate only until they die. At that point the Will becomes the main document. If either of your parents had created a Testamentary Trust, that would be used to allocate larger assets like real estate, business interests and investment accounts. Based on your message, I would suggest that you consult with a local attorney ASAP.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/22/2017
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