The leasing office probably had the right to discard your mother's belongings. They probably do not, however, have the right to determine who receives the contents of her purse. I have never heard of a lease including a "beneficiary." Even if the lease purports to list a beneficiary, it is not effective to pass assets at death -- only a will can do that.
It is likely that you, as the daughter, have the right receive your mother's things. Consult an estate attorney in your area to help you work with the leasing office.
The leasing office is completely wrong about the power of attorney. A power of attorney expires upon death. Therefore, a power of attorney would be useless now even if you had one.
Please consult an estate attorney to work this out.
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