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Old 08-08-2014, 11:04 AM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,286,485 times
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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.
Including credit cards. Although it took Discover card 3 days to lock/close my Mom's.
Quote:
Automatic deposits from SS and pensions are also blocked.
Not always. The bank did not block her CalPers pension - even though CalPers had been notified, there wasn't enough time to stop it and the bank didn't block it. I just let it sit, and CalPers drew it back out 2 weeks later.
Quote:
Will the bank freeze or 'block' a JOINT account?
USBank didn't in California. It may depend on state laws for access to the bank? I also had full access to the safe depoit box, my name was also on it and I had a key.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:41 PM
 
5,829 posts, read 13,369,337 times
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Although inheritances are not taxable, there is capital gains tax. As others have suggested, have all accounts changed to both names with survivorship, prepay funeral. You will not have to go through probate if the accounts are labelled correctly. A neighbor went to an elder attorney recently and for $1500 he got the same advice you are getting here.

I don't believe any state requires you to get an attorney for probate. You can get the paperwork which is basically listing all assets and values. Once that has been filed you will receive waivers allowing you access and ability to disperse the assets. Rules are easier for a spouse as in many states it is automatically transferred to surviving spouse.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,585 posts, read 12,734,693 times
Reputation: 8355
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
The house. I'm not sure what you mean when you state that your H is on the deed but that his mother is the owner. Everyone named on a deed has some type of interest in the property. Tenants in Common? Joint Tenants? Remainder of Life Estate? hmm.

I don't believe you need to consult with an estates attorney, but I do suggest you consult with a financial or tax professional to determine whether it is best to wait until after your MIL dies before selling the home. In general, there is a tax advantage to selling/transferring ownership of the home AFTER the owner dies (stepped up basis). But this might not apply in your particular situation.

Everything else looks great.
Thanks for your input. I'm getting this info. secondhand from my husband so I'm not sure of some things. For the house, they are both on the deed - I think it's as tenants in common not joint survivorship. But my husband is the beneficiary, so I'm not sure why my MIL set it up that way.

The house has not really appreciated. Paid about $87K about 15 years ago. It's now worth maybe mid-$90s according to Realtor. So I don't think we have to worry about the basis.

We looked into the accounts and my husband is a joint owner or a beneficiary on all of them except one CD that we are not sure about.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,585 posts, read 12,734,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdflk View Post
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.



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.
I think it's a matter of months at most. My husband is pre-paying the funeral expenses. He's already spoken with them and got the ball rolling.

We don't want to transfer assets before she dies and have a tax consequence. We did consider the $14K per person she can give, but it seems like there won't be extra benefits by doing that if his name is on all of her accounts or is beneficiary on all of them.

Last edited by michgc; 08-13-2014 at 07:44 AM..
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,585 posts, read 12,734,693 times
Reputation: 8355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
Although inheritances are not taxable, there is capital gains tax. As others have suggested, have all accounts changed to both names with survivorship, prepay funeral. You will not have to go through probate if the accounts are labelled correctly. A neighbor went to an elder attorney recently and for $1500 he got the same advice you are getting here.

I don't believe any state requires you to get an attorney for probate. You can get the paperwork which is basically listing all assets and values. Once that has been filed you will receive waivers allowing you access and ability to disperse the assets. Rules are easier for a spouse as in many states it is automatically transferred to surviving spouse.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,585 posts, read 12,734,693 times
Reputation: 8355
Interesting topic just came up regarding my MIL. Before her stroke she took a few medications that totaled only a few hundred dollars per year, so she didn't have prescription coverage through Medicare becuase it wasn't worth it financially at the time. Well, my husband just got a bill from the nursing home for all of the medications she has been on there, and it's in the thousands of dollars (she's has several infections develop). Medicare won't cover it, so it's all out of pocket. Probably would have been better for her to have the coverage all along. Even with a LTC policy, there has been SO MANY other expenses that she's had to cover that I cannot see how people without a LTC policy or significant assets would be able to pay. This has been an eye-opening experience.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:59 PM
 
3,158 posts, read 3,110,739 times
Reputation: 3600
Michgc,
Sorry to hear about the financial surprises. Nothing is every smooth going is it?

Anyway, If you revisit this thread, I'm wondering what you ended up doing as far as an attorney etc.?

Best of luck.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,435 posts, read 12,630,138 times
Reputation: 19748
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCc girl View Post
^^^ THIS^^^and do it NOW

my father's estate is still in freaking probate and he died September 2012.
Yes, the 4 month estimate was for a simple estate being represented by an attorney before the death who could get everything organized. My mother owns two farms with tenants. Selling them will require giving the tenants a year's notice, after we find a buyer. We can't leave a 90 year old farm house vacant until the farm is sold, and it is not rentable as is. The electrical system still uses a fuse box, not the sort of thing you want to leave in the hands of renters. There is also the sale of water rights to organize, and maintaining the water rights during the sale. When my dad died, both farms and substantial other assets went into an irrevocable trust. That was 14 years ago, and laws have changed since then.

We are planning on three years to settle her estate, and that is with her active involvement with an attorney in the planning. It may take longer.

And yes, buy the funeral now. It will give you time to shop for a burial plot, and funeral parlors give substantial discounts for prepaid funerals. It will save you $10,000 or so.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:39 AM
 
Location: brooklyn, new york, USA
899 posts, read 936,760 times
Reputation: 1300
better you speak to a bankruptcy lawyer. get a divorce and liquidate assets. have the dying guy give you all his money before he dies and make sure he takes out a loan "to live" as he has no money. then after he dies, use up the loan money and all that credit and disappear. there are ways to strategically game the system. speak to a lawyer. lots of people do it and it is completely legal.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,585 posts, read 12,734,693 times
Reputation: 8355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podo944 View Post
Michgc,
Sorry to hear about the financial surprises. Nothing is every smooth going is it?

Anyway, If you revisit this thread, I'm wondering what you ended up doing as far as an attorney etc.?

Best of luck.
Well, my husband did the pre-paid funeral, so that's done. He was able to sign her up for prescription coverage from this point forward (had he known, he would have done it months ago!). He has worked with her to consolidate some of her accounts, so it won't be so difficult when she passes. We looked into all of the remaining accounts and he is named as beneficiary on all of them or is named on them as a co-owner. The majority of her money is now in two annuities (he is listed as beneficiary), her home (he is co-owner), and her checking account (he is second name on account). So, we did not feel it is in our best interest to retain an attorney, as everything should be mostly straightforward from this point on (we hope!).

It was a lot of work getting to this point, and we wish we had worked with her a few years ago getting her affairs in order. If she had died unexpectedly, it would have been a lot more complicated. But she had her first stroke last fall, which gave my husband time to figure out what all of her accounts were, and she also gave him power of attorney which made it a lot easier. I wish she had been more open with him earlier, because some of the decisions she made in the past several years were not the best, but she was very independent and didn't want to give up control until she needed to.

That's where we are now. If anything complicated comes up, I will add it here.
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