My Experience as a Beneficiary Claiming POD Bank CDs
Most banks and credit unions allow you to name payable-on-death beneficiaries on your accounts. I reviewed many times how this can be used to increase your deposit insurance coverage. If you don't need to worry about increasing your deposit insurance coverage, you may still want to specify beneficiaries on your accounts. It can make it much easier on your heirs. When the owner dies, the account doesn't have to go through the probate process. This can save your heirs time and legal expenses. The beneficiary can claim the account directly at the bank or credit union.
I was the beneficiary on several small bank accounts that my dad owned. He passed away in March, and this year I had my first experience of claiming accounts as a beneficiary. Except for my problems at Wells Fargo, the process of claiming the accounts was simple. However, there were a few issues that I had to consider. I thought it would be useful for me to review these in a blog post.
In the last 20 years of my dad's life, almost all of his savings were in CDs. He had several small CDs at a few banks and credit unions. In addition to the safety and simplicity of the CDs, he also liked the ability to designate beneficiaries. He didn't have enough to worry about higher deposit insurance coverage. His main concern was to make it easy for me and my two brothers to inherit his savings without having to go through probate.
Specifying beneficiaries on bank accounts is indeed an easy way to keep money out of probate. Most banks allow you to add one or more beneficiaries to an account. They typically label beneficiaries as "payable on death" (POD) or "in trust for" (ITF).
One downside to specifying a beneficiary is that many banks and credit unions require the beneficiary's social security number. One of my credit unions refused to add a beneficiary without the beneficiary's social security number. I know readers have also reported this problem at some banks. I was wanting to add my brothers as the beneficiaries, but I didn't want to carry their social security numbers. Also, I didn't want to provide this number. I trust the credit union, but nothing is 100% secure. The more you give out these numbers, the more likely it could be found by hackers.
While you are alive, the beneficiaries have no access to the bank accounts. Access is only available after you die. In my experience, I just had to bring the certified copy of the death certificate and my ID. I also brought the copies of the account documentation with the account number and the beneficiary designation. This made it easier for the banks to look up the accounts in their system, but I don't think this was necessary for all cases except for that one Wells Fargo CD in which they had used the wrong beneficiary form.
Keeping the CD Rates and Terms
If a beneficiary is claiming a certificate of deposit, he or she can typically close the CD without an early withdrawal penalty. That was the case for all of my dad's CDs. However, there was an interesting issue with this. Many of my dad's CDs were 5-year CDs that were opened a few years ago when the rates were much higher. If I closed those CDs early, I would lose out on the high rates.
I was hoping that the banks and credit unions would allow me to take ownership of the CDs with the original rates and maturity dates. However, only two banks allowed this. The credit unions and the other banks required that the CDs be closed before I could take ownership of the funds.
The two banks that changed ownership without closing the CDs were SunTrust and PNC.
SunTrust Bank had the best process. They quickly gave me this choice at the branch, and converted the CDs with my name as the owner. They also allowed me to add new beneficiaries. The CD rates and maturity dates remained the same.
PNC also converted the CDs, but it did one surprising thing. It converted the CDs that listed me as the beneficiary without my permission. My brother was also a beneficiary on some PNC CDs, and he went to a PNC branch before I did. For some reason, PNC not only converted my brother's CDs, but it also converted my CDs. When I visited PNC, I learned that I was already the owners of these CDs. The main problem was that I could no longer close the CDs without an early withdrawal penalty. Fortunately, I had wanted to keep the CDs opened with the original rates and maturity dates. So I didn't protest what they did.
For all the other banks and credit unions, I was not allowed to keep ownership of the CDs with the original rates and maturity dates. The CDs had to be closed before I could take ownership of the funds. However, I still had a choice to make. Most would allow me to wait before closing the CDs. My dad had set up all of the CDs so interest would accrue in the CDs. I could just let the CDs mature and close them at maturity. There were two issues with this approach. First, all of the CDs would mature after 2011. My brothers and I felt that it would simplify tax reporting to have the CDs closed before 2012. Second, there's an issue of FDIC coverage. According to the FDIC:
The FDIC insures a deceased person’s accounts as if the person were still alive for six months after the death of the account holder. During this grace period, the insurance coverage of the owner’s accounts will not change unless the accounts are restructured by those authorized to do so.
Thus, for reasons of safety and simplicity, my brothers and I decided to close the CDs at the end of this year.
Not all of the banks were as willing to let me wait. Bank of America and Wells Fargo did not give me the choice to wait. I had two Wells Fargo CDs that had me as the beneficiary. Only one was done wrong. When I learned of the problem with that CD, I asked if I could wait to close the other CD. The banker insisted that the CD had to be closed immediately. I had a similar issue with Bank of America. Since the rates of these two CDs weren't that high, I didn't protest. It does show that you need to be careful when you decide to claim the account if you want to maximize the interest.
I note, when I did this a few years ago after my father died, I learned that I, as beneficiary, was the trust executor. I had always thought the banks were the executor, and I was merely the receiving beneficiary. But as such, I am VERY alarmed that PNC converted your CDs without ever even hearing from you. Yes, your brother had informed them of the death. Still, as I understand it, they had no legal authority to do anything with the accounts on which you were beneficiary -- I believe only the executor has power to do that -- unless perhaps it was part of the terms of the CD that it would automatically close upon death, but I've never seen such terms.
Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've seen anything of disclosures about what happens to a POD upon death. If the bank wants to apply rules, such as whether you MUST close it, I would think that would have to be specified in disclosures up front upon opening the POD.
In my case, I was dealing with a CD at Hudson City Bank in New Jersey. I was there, and just wanted to close it while there. But I learned that if I closed the CD before the interest was posted, I would lose all accrued interest that had not yet been posted. It was posted quarterly, so I waited until the end of the quarter and then closed immediately, and they mailed me the check. If they had had a rule that it must close upon death, that I had no choice to let it ride, then I would have lost all accrued interest! Even worse if they had taken it upon themselves to close it before I even had a chance to get in touch wiht them (my brother had given them a copy of the death certificate before I was even informed of the CD, so there are always circumstances why they might know of a death yet the beneficiary could not yet have been in touch with them).
This does not mean that FDIC coverage ends 6 months after death - the only thing that changes after 6 months is the method of calculating the total amount of FDIC coverage available. So if the beneficiary had other accounts (in the same ownership class) at the same bank, then the FDIC would only provide insurance up to the limit for that beneficiary alone after 6 months had passed; for the first 6 months, there would be an increased insurance limit, calculated as if the account holder were still alive.
If the beneficiary had no other accounts (in the same ownership class) at the same bank, or if the combined total of existing accounts and inherited accounts were below the FDIC coverage limit, then all funds would continue to be insured by the FDIC regardless of whether the account has been claimed.
BTW, I wasn't misrepresenting. I merely misunderstood.
A related note: My folks put all their accounts (a big bunch of CD's) and other assets into a family trust, and I was the Managing Trustee. Hence, all of their bank accounts were titled under their trust, so no POD's (the trust was filed with each account and showed the beneficiaries, and the FDIC treats that beneficiary page like a POD page). Upon my second parent's death I set up a special liquidation account and, upon presentation of the death certificates and my trustee certificate to each bank, I received checks payable to the temporary liquidation trust acccount that I set up (I then paid the pooled cash out to the trust's beneficiaries from that one account).
In that regard, I delayed a 5-year, 6.00% APY CD's liquidation until the very end of my trust-liquidation duty. All went smooth with all banks, and the FDIC coverage during the acccounts' existence was tied to the number of beneficiaries in the trust. BUT, this was an "A-B" trust, so if one parent dies first his share becomes "A-trust" and "irrevocable," while the surviving parent's share (B trust) remained revocable. The pitfall: FDIC coverage on an irrevocable trust was reduced to just one-beneficiary level (i.e., as if there was only one beneficiary on the account, even if there were multiple trust beneficiaries shown on the trust document filed with every bank).
Still, when IndyMac failed (I managed the cash by CD-investing in weak, high-pay banks), the FDIC didn't seem to notice that it was an irrevocable trust account and my marginal, over-limit portion was safe (I got 100% of the account paid out).
POD's are wonderful; I have them on all my accounts. They are obviated, however, by the use of a living trust. So when you see a POD, that often means that the owner is using a will, rather than a trust. A will is more expensive to administer at death than a living trust. But simple estates like mine (CD's with POD's, a few assets, no spouse or child support) can get away with POD's and a will. Those with more complex estates -- look into a living trust, and remember that POD's won't work if the CD's and other bank accounts are placed in the trust (because the trust's beneficiary page controls).
I am pondering setting up a living trust.
My understanding is that it will eventually be up to any candidate financial institution to review my trust document to decide whether it will be bound by its conditions before it will agree to open a trust account and re-title my assets into the trust.
One key condition for me would be that my trust document stipulates that any term deposits can only be held in institutions that allow redemption and/or transfer of title prior to maturity upon the triggering event of my death. The idea here is to explitcitly ensure that my trust is only involved with financial institutions that agree to allow my trust to be wound up promptly. (Otherwise there is a worst case scenario: suppose trust termination is delayed for years pending maturation of locked-in CDs, then consider the annual fees if a backup corporate trustee comes into play.)
My question is: how specific can my trust document be without spooking the candidate financial institutions?
E.g. can I safely elaborate in the following manner? :
“… for term deposit assets, the trustee can only use institutions that allow term deposits to be converted prior to maturity upon the triggering event of the settlor's death in at least one of the following manners (A) redemption for cash prior to maturity penalty-free for par value, plus any unpaid accrued interest earned to date of withdrawal, (B) transfer of ownership prior to maturity to one or more individual beneficiaries specified by the successor trustee without change of terms …”
The idea here is of course that my trust can be wound up not only promptly, but also for fair value and possibly considering preferences across the beneficiaries.
I would appreciate any expert comments on this matter.
If anyone thinks I'm mistaken in making this decision, I'll be most grateful for h/his opinion. Thanks ever so much! :)
I went into the branch where the cd's were opened yesterday. They said they DID NOT HAVE the original terms or info on the cds to determine if a beneficiary or death 'put' or POD was on either of the cds. This seems unbelievable to me that they don't have this information at the branch where they were initiated. They said I needed to go to court to get the 'letters testimentary' to access the funds - costing me court and attorney fees.
Meanwhile all his funds are in those cds and I have no way to pay his bills. I felt like they were stalling and that by some type of fed law they should HAVE to have this information.
Any help is appreciated.
7 yrs past?
but what to do with the 1099s in the meantime?
"about the death"
If I were you, I'd threaten to file a fraud complaint with your State Attorney's office (and be prepared to actually do it). You can give the bank a written 30-day warning that you're going to do this, in case that helps get the ball rolling without you needing to actually file a complaint. To back up your claim, you can obtain all of Wells Fargo's terms and conditions online and print them out. If you've met all the requirements listed, then basically they're clearly committing some type of fraud (and/or possible theft?).
Keep in mind that sometimes reporting them to a regulatory agency can be just effective (if not more so) than getting a lawyer involved, if the only problem is that you want them to make good on something they're required to do (i.e. if you're not asking for punitive damages).
You could think of it as though your goal is to make them do as much extra work as possible if they insist on making you go through all these hoops. Any time a business is reported to one of these agencies, the business Must then submit a formal reply to the complaint. This takes up billable hours on their part, if nothing else. And they run the risk off raising more red flags if their argument defending their practices is found to be in violation of any laws. If you really want to be a pain in their as$es, you could file identical complaints with as many agencies as possible that have any oversight over banking and/or consumer fraud. If you've received Anything from them via mail that originated from another state, that might even bump it up to the federal level.
If there are a lot of other people having this similar problem, there's also a chance they've already been reported to various agencies. If so, they might be highly motivated to not get reported again.
Best of luck. And I'm very sorry for your loss. The last thing anyone needs is having to go through all this hassle after the loss of a loved one.
it's none of the banks business about his age, etc....it's what the Grandmother wanted!
The parents can assist and guide their 13yo son. It's very interesting how people can deposit money into a bank and then they act like it's "their" money!!
Your problem is the reason everyone should tell beneficiarys "ahead of time" that they are being named in a Will or if they are on a CD as a POD, give them the info of the banks ahead of time. I typed up a booklet for the person as POD on certain of my CDs with names, addresses and phone numbers of any and all banks to contact upon my passing. I am not leaving this to my Executor to do. In fact, today I updated the info as I always do when any CD matures and/or I change the bank which they are POD on. I also included in their booklet info on how to handle any IRA accounts they "may" inherit since these must be handled differently from regular CDs. This may sound nutty to you but if I were in your position especially with this Executor, I would call all banks in my grandmom's city and ask them if they have any open accounts in her name. It makes no sense she would make you POD and not make her Executor aware of which bank it's with. I would also call BOFA and ask to speak to someone higher up and ask their help in finding which accounts have or "had" your name listed as POD. Maybe they matured before she passed and she used the money for something else. If she had any "nicknames" for you be sure to request that BOFA check for you under any and all names she might have used for you. Maybe you are giving them a name that is different from what she gave them. Hope you work this out.
As for the tax consequences, since your mother has been dead for two years, I think the following citation from Pub 559 is applicable:
"Interest accrued on savings certificates. The interest accrued on savings certificates (redeemable after death without forfeiture of interest) for the period from the date of the last interest payment and ending with the date of the decedent's death, but not received as of that date, is income in respect of a decedent. Interest accrued after the decedent's death that becomes payable on the certificates after death is not income in respect of a decedent, but is taxable income includible in the income of the respective recipients."
This seems to suggest that you needed to include the interest income on your own return or prorata with your sisters if they are listed as beneficiaries. Alternatively, you could do nothing and see what happens with the IRS. In that you never received a 1099, I am not sure how they would ever know.
Also, my father recently passed, making me the last member of our family line. Does anyone know about making non-profit and charitable organizations beneficiary to bank accounts, savings bonds and insurance policies? Are social security numbers needed? Does some representative have to sign?
If she is deceased, you can get a free consultation with an elder attorney and find out how much they will charge to handle this for you. They are not all as expensive as you might think. If the CD is a goodly amount, their charge might be worth it for you. Best of luck!
Suppose in the future that the person you are representing as POA becomes incompetent and one of their CD's matures. As acting POA, do you have the authority to reinvest in a new CD, perhaps at another institution that has the highest interest rate and do you have the authority to designate the POD beneficiaries to the CD that is in best interest to the one you are representing?
One does not have to be an attorney to know what POAs are especially if you use them.
Here is the kicker and what my lawyer told me when I was designated as durable power of attorney on my mother's will. "Some banks may not permit or authorize the POA to make changes as described in#75's comment."
Here is my problem, when my Dad put me on it I was under the impression that I was only the benificiary if my Father passed away. In other words I would get his half and my aunt would get hers. That was not the case today. We were all issued checks in equal amounts. My question is this... will I be taxed on this? I immediately gave my check to my father for him to split between my Aunt and himself. when I told my husband he flipped saying it will **** up our taxes and we will be investigated by the IRS. HELP. By the way we live in N.Y. Any info would be greatly appreciated. LB
I am not a tax expert, but here is my two cents on your questions:
There are a couple of questionable situations here. You possibly may owe some tax on your part of the interest earned on the cd prior to the maturity of the cd. Contact the bank and ask them if they are going to be sending you personally a 1099INT on any of the interest earned on the cd. If so, you probably will owe taxes on the interest. You possibly will also have to pay some gift tax if you gave more than $14K to your father and more than $14K to your aunt. $14K is the annual limit that you can give away per person without incurring a gift tax. I was wondering, if you did indeed owe taxes, maybe your aunt and father can pay for the taxes that you incurred since they ended up with all the money.
This is previous #99 again. If you do owe gift tax, I think a way to avoid paying the taxes is to apply it to your lifetime exclusion. You have a lifetime exclusion total amount of $5.25 million. So you may want to apply the amount over the yearly allowable gift amount of $28K that you gave to your father and aunt. If you decide to do this, you will have to file it on your 2013 income tax return. Sorry but I do not have a clue what you do on New York state income taxes.
If there is somebody that could answer this, please: I am married (13 years).My only daughter is not my husband's daughter. Same with him, since it is our second marriage. Our attorney answered that if one of us dies, the money in the bank and investiments will go to the surviving spouse, therefore if he dies before, I will make sure his daughter gets half of everything before I die because she is not my heiress. But what happens if I die first? I just have to trust that my husband will do the same?Thank you for any input! Mara.
Next time your at the bank, ask a bank officer what "documents" will the bank need to release the funds to the beneficiary. Have the bank officer put it on official bank paper and sign it. He will be lost for an answer.
Probate court involvement? Maybe. Depends on the bank, state, local, and federal laws.
I have an account problem due to the bank changing (or was wrongly told) how to title the account. The title on the account is "John Doe or Jane Smith". I questioned if one of us was to die who would get the funds. I was told by a bank VP that the banks default title was "Joint with Survivorship" and the funds would go to the survivor outside of probate court.
Now several years later Jane Smith has passed. Also the VP doesn't remember the conversation and states the account is co ownership (ie: 1/2 mine and 1/2 Jane's estate). So that means probate court must be involved. What really pis...s me off is Jane's name was there for convenience only. All the funds were mine.
From this day forward, I will have everything in writing and signed by a authorized person.
Think about it. If he is the beneficiary of the entire CD and he then splits the money with his siblings, he is, according to the IRS, gifting the money to them.
The only reason I used POD was cause I thought that was the only way to go with the ins limits.
My questions are as follows:
1) Am I required to report the funds as "income?"
2) Would I need to report the income to the government (who now owns my student loans)? I am in good standing with the student loans, but don't want to have to increase my payment amount. Any way around having to give up the money?
Basically, I would like to know how to keep the funds to maybe invest in property.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Does anyone have any experience with a similar situation? Thanks!
Sorry for my confusion but hope it works out well for everyone.
If you don't have a copy of the CD you are beneficiary of, you might consider calling all the banks your grandmother did business with that you know of and basically tell them she is deceased and you would them to check her CDs to see if you and your cousin are listed as beneficiares as you were told. There is a chance they would do that for you if your grandmother was a valuable customer.
Your problem may be that you waited 6 years to inquire. They may have turned the money over to the State by now if no one claimed the CDs. Best of luck.
One of my sisters is the executor of my fathers estate and she was also named as the beneficiary on his CD. My father was an absolute stickler for keeping everything equal between all of his children, so I find it terribly difficult to believe that he meant for all of this money to go to just one of us. Could he just have not been informed at the bank that he could have more than one person named as beneficiary and trusted her to do what was fair to all of us? I had a couple of CDs in the past and never knew I could name more than one person. By the way, this was a small local bank with just a handful of branches.
I thought because he informed them that she was dying, and that a new POA was made just a few hours earlier, the banks would have tried to stop him, or at least contact me, since this money was about to become mine, instead one bank contacted their lawyer who said to give him the money, even though it meant breaking the right of survivorship. I went to my mother's lawyer, but my brother managed to convince him, that I was trying to cheat him out of a few thousand while I had been cheated out of a quarter million dollar estate. The lawyer later lied, and claimed he had never met me, and had no idea my brother was lying to him, yet he himself stated that when Wills are unevenly divided these things happen, so why then was he not suspicious in the first place? My mother's lawyer told her since she didn't have any money other than her pension to leave it with the police, and instead of saving what little she could for me, another lawyer took all her pension money, trying to find out what my brother did with the money, when he couldn't, he finally he said he made a deal to get most of the money back, she just had to wait a few months, she died a few months after the deadline, realizing she had wasted her money on the lawyer, she never saw a dime, and since I have no money I can't hire a lawyer and I am not entitled to legal aid. People say don't worry God will get him, while at the same time telling me, now that my mother is dead the police will drop the matter and I will never get justice, because I have no money to pay a lawyer.
So just a heads, just because you tell a bank that someone is to have right of survivorship, doesn't means the banks have to honor it. The new lawyer said, that my mother had a case against the banks, but it would take years, and of course with no money, and a soon to be dead client, lawyers aren't interested in going after banks.
My brother deposited the bulk of the money in an account with both his name and my mother's name, then immediately transferred the money to an account with just his name. Two banks said the bank drafts could only be made payable to her, while he convinced a third to make everything payable to him directly even though his name was not on any of the bank assets. After the bills are paid I live on just over $500 a month, while my brother claims to have no money yet his girlfriend's family thinks he's a millionaire, go figure.
For # 208 and 209
Mediation, if all parties agree, could help...you do talk to your mother? And, remember, mom was the sister of the uncle.
The Amer Bar Assoc. has an elder law blog. There also may be a pro bono elder law atty in your area...in any event it could be an uphill road without everyone coming together. One biggie is, do your think the original judge would, in effect, admit s/he was wrong in the process?
They did not know him until I told them that I was getting gaurdianship and they went behind my back and did an emergency one. Due to the fact he was in a hospital and had an emergency hearing.
I have copies of his bank statements that had me listed pod before he was ever sick. I am speaking from years back and until recent. Will this help in court?
Also, that why my mother and him stop speaking was because of money. Now she following suit with me. This is a very sad situation but I know for a fact he would not had wanted her to have it and she knows it.
oh also he left his house to me , but immediately the son changed all the locks . Do I have the right to have a locksmith change the locks ???
Trust issues 75
Even if we knew their SS#, many people prefer not to have their number spread around so freely even though it is not much of a secret anymore. Our SS#s were never intended to be use as a national I.D. number like it is today!
Gift taxes should never have been made legal and should be eliminated. Nothing but Legalized robbery!
There was a warning some time ago about the opposite where POD beneficiaries were designated on the issued paper certificate of deposit but were not recorded in the bank's records. The FDIC only recognizes what the bank records indicate.
Deposit accounts that name beneficiaries are insured under the revocable trust accounts ownership category ONLY if they meet all of the requirements:
First, the account title at the bank must indicate that the account is held pursuant to a trust relationship. This rule can be met by using the terms payable on death (or POD), in trust for (or ITF), as trustee for (or ATF), living trust, family trust, or any similar language, including simply having the word "trust" in the account title. The account title includes information contained in the bank's electronic deposit account records.
Second, the beneficiaries must be named in either the deposit account records of the bank (for informal revocable trusts) or identified in the formal revocable trust document. For a formal trust agreement, it is acceptable for the trust to use language such as "my issue" or other commonly used legal terms to describe the designated beneficiaries, provided the specific names and number of eligible beneficiaries can be determined.
Third, to qualify as an eligible beneficiary, the beneficiary must be a living person, a charity or a non-profit organization. If a charity or non-profit organization is named as beneficiary, it must qualify as such under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.
Please inquire with your banker as to how they identify the beneficiaries in the banks records; the “payable on death (or POD)” designation is only one of many other acceptable trust languages that can be used to identify a beneficiary, as indicated in the first point above. If you want further clarification, please feel free to call us directly at the number listed below.
Typically, if any of the below requirements are not met, the entire amount in the account, or the portion of the account that does not qualify, is added to the owner's other single accounts, if any, at the same bank and insured up to $250,000 in the Single Account Ownership Category.
Accounts with a designated P.O.D. do not pass through a will or probate. They pass directly to the designated P.O.D. beneficiaries.
You might try to find an Estate lawyer who gives a free consultation to find out what he recommends you can or cannot do in this matter. Usually you don't have to pay them unless you hire them to do some actual work for you after they give you the free consultation. That is what I would do in your predicament and then decide where to go from there. Best of luck to you.
at his location. A month or so after receiving the funds, I learned it was from a CD.
I then asked the personal rep. to send me a photo copy of the CD. He is fighting me on this
issue. Why cannot he give me a photo copy of the CD or how do I do about legally getting a copy it.
Do I have to spend money for an Att. and go to court or what.
I just hired an estates attorney but forgot to ask him (and elsewhere) about his experience as executor. I found out at the time I signed all documents that this was his first executor job. :( Since I no longer have family, I signed him as my POA.
Now the matter of his obtaining immediately the funds for my funeral and related expenses (especially if death occurs in a foreign land) came up which I certainly understood. So he suggested that I open an estimated amount in a POD in his name to be used solely and exclusively for those expenses. Later he said he consulted with some executor lawyers and was advised that he instead open an escrow account.
Did anyone have any experience with an escrow as opposed with a POD for the purposes of obtaining quickly those funeral funds? I understand that otherwise he'd not receive the money until after weeks perhaps months, so it makes sense to arrange this right now, especially since in 45 days I'll be in a foreign country for a couple of weeks....
Will a POD serve as well if the person instead of dying becomes incompetent? I've been searching the internet extensively but didn't find a clarification. I usually get great results but it seems I'm stuck with this puzzle.
Thank you so much for any suggestions! :)
He understands, and also made clear to me, that this escrow is ONLY for funeral expenses. I guess I'll just have to trust him as I have no other option. :-)
"Will a POD serve as well if the person instead of dying becomes incompetent?"
No, POD does not take affect until after your death. You would have to designate someone with a "Durable Power of Attorney" document to look after you and your affairs, should you become incompetent.
I would definitely hire a different attorney than you now have. A competent attorney should have been more than capable of answering any questions you have.
Changing the attorney is the first that came in my mind but it isn't easy. This is the 2nd estates attorney as the first one of many decades retired and moved out of state, so I had to pay again to the new one, and if I get a 3rd one it will be yet another payment...
I guess I deserve this for being stupid, negligent or both in failing to check the background before signing. Thanks again for your good explanation too. :-)
I wish I COULD hire one of those sharp, rapid action estates attorneys who does a dozen cases per day so as to simplify something so complex and laden with feelings of mutual mistrust...But I recognize there's no such thing as perfect and so I'm doing the best I can with what I have.... :-)
The rep looked up the CD number and said it seemed when I closed out my last CD they make an error of $2.15 and "I" owed that to them!! I said if it was their error what kind of a bank would wait years to contact me? He said not to be concerned, it seems they "wrote it off" so I didn't owe it. Then he wanted to know if I would like to buy more CDs from them. Really?? I wouldn't buy a bag of chips from them now after hearing these stories. They really must need deposits badly to come up with such a stupid way to contact customers.
In any case it all seems pretty trivial. The bank made an immaterial error in regards to a CD, their system generated a mistaken letter to you because of that, and then when you called about it they realized the mistake and pretty perfunctorily rectified things. YAWN. As far as simultaneously trying to market you another investment with them, that may have been ill-advised, but was it really such an outrage? I'd have laughed.
She has death certificate and is named as informant
Did you mean named, Executor? Being named "informant" makes no sense.
Unless you have a "Will" and have designated an executor/s, a judge will appoint an attorney as executor of your estate and divide any assets you may have remaining among your closest living relatives after all debts are settled.
And of course the lawyer/s handling your estate will take their cut!
If not, request a transcript of her tax account from the IRS. Records that old cannot be requested online, you have to submit Form 4506-T. Be sure to request Form 1099 and Form 5498 transcripts. Request transcripts for several year before and after she died.
I posted thiis before and can't imagine why it was deleted?
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