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Old 08-31-2014, 06:04 PM
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,059 posts, read 6,053,528 times
Reputation: 9456


Thanks for the update!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:40 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
22,060 posts, read 14,493,357 times
Reputation: 31102
Make sure you can get access to her safe deposit box, if she has one. Laws differ, but there might be a problem after she dies. And make sure you have the key.

It might be advisable to get her CDs cashed out and into the joint account. That is what I did before my mom passed, and it saved us a bundle of problems. Once someone dies, POA goes away. So if assets are tied up, cash them out and get them into an account held jointly between your DH and his mom.

Consulting an attorney might be advisable about how to possibly avoid probate, and what steps your DH can legally take now to make everything easier after she passes.

If you are going to sell her house, is there a reason not to do it before she dies?

And I can tell you what to do first thing after she dies and the relatives are notified. Call Social Security. You do not want to recieve a SS payment for someone after she has died. And you will have to notify the bank that holds the joint account. And that is just the beginning, probably.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:22 PM
7,994 posts, read 5,078,983 times
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I'm facing a similar situation to that of the OP, although in some regards it's simpler. I'm thus both offering musings, and am interested in the various alternatives.

Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
I was an only child and when my Mom passed I inherited everything. House, savings, etc. I was POA. We never heard of probate. She had a will, it was current, I was the bene. This was Illinois. Didn't need any expensive attorney.
That sounds reasonable. From what I gather, designation of beneficiary ("payable on death", or POD) takes precedence over everything, and the funds will be transferred to the beneficiary upon presentation of a death certificate. This ought to bypass probate. Probate becomes ornery when there are multiple beneficiaries/descendents, when there's rental property/businesses and so forth. An owner-occupied house (not a rental) would presumably be simple.

Originally Posted by rdflk View Post
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.....
Wouldn't that immediately generate capital gains taxes? But if the accounts remain untouched through her death, wouldn't the cost-basis reset, so that when her son consolidates/liquidates the accounts, he owes no taxes?

The main issue is likely the house. In most states, real estate can not be covered by a POD designation. Since there are few or no capital gains on the eventual house-sale, it would perhaps have been better for the mother-in-law to re-deed the house solely to her son, while she remained legally competent.
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