Of course each state is different and I am a California attorney. Here in California a power of attorney does expire at death BUT there is an exception for certain issues related to making funeral arrangements. However, that power comes from a medical directive rather than a financial power of attorney. In terms of paying for the funeral in California that is a priority claim and will be reimbursed ahead of most other expenses (other than the government) if there are assets left. However, if people steal assets after death (as often happens) it can be difficult to make your claim for reimbursement. Good luck to you.