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Old 08-07-2014, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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As others have said see an attorney who specializes in elder law. Your MIL doesn't really have a large estate so an estate planning attorney may be more than you need. If her assets aren't well structured resolving it after her passing could consume it's value. Competency may be an issue but if re-titling and restricting reflects her will that may not be a problem.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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I don't know if this is an issue for you or anyone else who posts here but it has concerned me, should I die. I pay all of my bills online and 95% of them are auto-pay. That is, they are automatically debited every month. A person who leaves a spouse would not have an issue with this but I worry that without intervention, they'd keep auto debiting my checking account.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:39 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,130 posts, read 17,167,980 times
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Until the bank locks the account, and/or SS & Pension check stop coming.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:12 PM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,077,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I don't know if this is an issue for you or anyone else who posts here but it has concerned me, should I die. I pay all of my bills online and 95% of them are auto-pay. That is, they are automatically debited every month. A person who leaves a spouse would not have an issue with this but I worry that without intervention, they'd keep auto debiting my checking account.
Almost all funeral homes notify SS of a death, and almost all financial institutions do a daily pull of the records and then place a lock on the accounts. You could verify with your bank and with your funeral home of choice that this will happen.

In addition, be sure the executor of your estate has a copy of your will and a listing of your financial institutions and debtors, and knows to notify them promptly when you pass.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:46 PM
 
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How long is 'not long' to live? Two weeks or a year? Although, one never knows -- obviously those two projections are different time frames....with different 'urgencies.'

If her money or monthly income is well affording her care, and she won't run out before her death, why not close and consolidate the accounts.....transferring all but enough to pay for her payment portion of her care for her expected life span. IF she lives longer and that's not enough, you'll still have the money that was transferred. You say you don't need the money so I wouldn't USE any of it, but I would just save it elsewhere out of HER name.

I also second the suggestion of pre-paying for funeral expenses.

Some states have an easier probate process for small estates. So if her's is under that amount it's much less complicated. I read, for example, that PA has a simple probate form for estates under 25K.

Quote:
Almost all funeral homes notify SS of a death, and almost all financial institutions do a daily pull of the records and then place a lock on the accounts. You could verify with your bank and with your funeral home of choice that this will happen.
You'd be surprised how quickly that news can travel. Soc. Sec. especially is very quick to ask for or pull the money back -- within days. I actually think it's kind of cold hearted. I for one won't be thinking about that when a loved one dies.It's so fast they don't even give time to contact them.

As for automated bill pay., IF you have enough money in the account without a Soc Sec check, I don't know how long the account would continue to be debited. I don't know that the telephone or cable company, for example, would know until there was no money in the account, or someone called them.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:19 PM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,077,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdflk View Post
As for automated bill pay., IF you have enough money in the account without a Soc Sec check, I don't know how long the account would continue to be debited. I don't know that the telephone or cable company, for example, would know until there was no money in the account, or someone called them.
When the bank pulls the SS record and locks the account, all automatic debits are blocked. In the several cases I've dealt with, this happens very quickly, within a week or so of the funeral homes' notifications to SS.
In fact the debits were blocked so quickly, that I (as executor) had to manually pay bills that were for the month prior to death.

Automatic deposits from SS and pensions are also blocked. For me, this was a good thing because it prevented the estates from having to repay post-death benefits. We (i.e. the estates) were mailed checks for benefits due. But I guess the timing could go the other way, too.

edit to add: It's a good reminder though for survivors/executors to be aware of open accounts that need to be closed or transferred immediately upon the account holder's death, if not before.

Last edited by biscuitmom; 08-07-2014 at 11:29 PM..
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:00 AM
 
71,798 posts, read 71,896,917 times
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which is why important papers others may need should not be in a safe deposit box.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:47 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,228,824 times
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The account isn't 'frozen' right? it's just that automatic deposits and withdrawals are blocked? correct?

Will the bank freeze or 'block' a JOINT account?
(two names on it, either person has full withdrawal privileges and access)

Also as for safe deposit boxes. I'm totally turned off. After my aunt died (I was not on the box). It took MONTHS! to get a state rep to the bank so we could open the box...MONTHS! 1) the bank gave me the wrong number to call....so that was months wasted, 2) after I got the right phone number it was still weeks before the person could come out. So I'm done with safe deposit boxes.

Last edited by rdflk; 08-08-2014 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:53 AM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,077,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdflk View Post
Will the bank freeze or 'block' a JOINT account?
(two names on it, either person has full withdrawal privileges and access)
Yes, they might. You should ask the bank now, how to minimize disruption.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:35 AM
 
5,399 posts, read 6,547,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I don't know if this is an issue for you or anyone else who posts here but it has concerned me, should I die. I pay all of my bills online and 95% of them are auto-pay. That is, they are automatically debited every month. A person who leaves a spouse would not have an issue with this but I worry that without intervention, they'd keep auto debiting my checking account.
thought the same thing Laura. interesting if someone offers some solutions.
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