HELP for dying friend ...

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Near retirement
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HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Mon May 26, 2014 6:59 pm

I need some guidance. A dear friend is in the last stages of life. She has two adult children, one with her and one out of state. Her estate will include a house (still has sizable mortgage), maybe 50K equity, and a low 6 figure 403-B. One sibling (A) wants to dispose of all assets ASAP upon the mother's death; the other (B) is currently living in the house and is the primary caregiver (friend is in hospital) and feels as though the other sibling is trying to push things, and to try to control all decisions and assets.

From what I understand, B has primary POA but A (secondary POA) has somehow gained access to bank account, 403-b, etc. to assess what is there and is managing the mother's affairs. B seems to have deferred to A's decision to do this, has not exercised POA I get the impression that my friend has many financial obligations that may consume a fair proportion of her remaining assets. There are many complications to this situation, but I could use some guidance on a couple issues/questions in order to be of assistance.

1. could the attorney handling the mother's will serve to mediate the differences of opinion RE: the disposition of assets? I believe the children will be co-executors of the will, but that is unknown. Should separate attorneys be considered?
2. How long does probate typically take?
3.I do not know the family dynamics but I am sensing they are not good. B has asked for my guidance as I am a friend of the mother. I have said, let attorney handle, but I feel I could help more. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading and for any offers of suggestions.

NR

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by ralph124cf » Mon May 26, 2014 7:12 pm

In my state, there cannot be co-executors of a will. There can be multiple executors in line, but only one can exercise power at a time.

Could B change the passwords on the accounts?

Ralph

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Ged » Mon May 26, 2014 7:17 pm

After death I think the POAs are irrelevant and the probate process becomes determinant. Whatever the will, if any, says is controlling.

I would seriously consider not getting involved in this. It could end up in court, dragging you along.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon May 26, 2014 7:35 pm

Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed. The will must be filed with the court and probated prior to the instructions of the will can be carried out by the executor. Sibling B can put a halt to the POA pilfering bank accounts by informing the bank of the account holders death - the bank will require an official certificate of death before paying out to beneficiaries. Real estate can't be transferred without probated will (if not in a trust). What other assets does the friend have that sibling A believes they can just "dispose" of immediately?
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by sscritic » Mon May 26, 2014 7:44 pm

Many of the estate attorneys on this board suggest disposing of assets and distributing the proceeds as soon as practical. The executor should not be betting on the value of stocks in the portfolio nor on the future of real estate prices.

Are you sure that B isn't just looking for a place to live (e.g., doesn't want the house sold for three years after death)?

P.S. My father is 97. My sister is executor and trustee of his trust. Her situation is the opposite; my brother wants to spend a ton of money on the house after my father's death in order to make a killing in the real estate market. My sister is going to ignore him and sell the house as soon as practical.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Raymond » Mon May 26, 2014 8:39 pm

I am sorry to hear about your friend's terminal illness.

I would be concerned about sibling A (OK, maybe either sibling) draining the bank accounts and anything else he/she has passwords to while your friend's body is still warm.

Change passwords (as mentioned above)? Or at the very least, notify the financial institutions of the parent's condition, and (if this is possible/desirable) to "freeze" the accounts to prevent any post-mortem shenanigans?

In this situation, I would advise sibling B to seek legal advice. Do not let yourself get dragged into this.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Mon May 26, 2014 8:46 pm

Raymond wrote:I am sorry to hear about your friend's terminal illness.

I would be concerned about sibling A (OK, maybe either sibling) draining the bank accounts and anything else he/she has passwords to while your friend's body is still warm.

Change passwords (as mentioned above)? Or at the very least, notify the financial institutions of the parent's condition, and (if this is possible/desirable) to "freeze" the accounts to prevent any post-mortem shenanigans?

In this situation, I would advise sibling B to seek legal advice. Do not let yourself get dragged into this.
Raymond,

This makes sense to me. I do not want to get dragged in as I know how these things can go. Sibling B needs to speak with bank and with attorney.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Mon May 26, 2014 8:49 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed. The will must be filed with the court and probated prior to the instructions of the will can be carried out by the executor. Sibling B can put a halt to the POA pilfering bank accounts by informing the bank of the account holders death - the bank will require an official certificate of death before paying out to beneficiaries. Real estate can't be transferred without probated will (if not in a trust). What other assets does the friend have that sibling A believes they can just "dispose" of immediately?
gr2b,

Since my friend is still alive, sibling B can communicate to bank to try to help avoid sibling A's inappropriate use of funds.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Calm Man » Mon May 26, 2014 8:50 pm

There is often one evil, greedy sibling. In this case, Ia m assuming the house is titled so that the estate will be handling it. Then the will would dominate. Although I think small estates should avoid legal fees, you might need to use a lawyer because of the evil sibling. The idea of an out of town sibling wanting to plan the disposition of assets before the death is well, evil.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by sscritic » Mon May 26, 2014 8:59 pm

Calm Man wrote: The idea of an out of town sibling wanting to plan the disposition of assets before the death is well, evil.
Where do you see the word before in the OP? I don't see it with respect to disposition, or are you talking about planning before?
dispose of all assets ASAP upon the mother's death
I am out of town relative to my father, and my sister and I talk all the time about how best to dispose of my father's assets when the time comes. Actually, my father talks to both of us about his estate. The last time I went to visit, he took me to his attorney to review some changes. I am going again for Father's day, and I know he will talk about his estate yet again. Planning for his death and for the disposition is called planning (that's why the word is in there), and I have always considered planning a good thing. I guess I am evil. Let me find that evil smilie. :evil: and one more for good measure, the other one. :twisted:

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by LadyGeek » Mon May 26, 2014 9:26 pm

Here's something you can do to help - read the wiki: Estate planning, check the references at the bottom of the article. Then, go over the information with your friend to be sure all the bases are covered. Surf the menu at the bottom of the article for other topics, e.g. Probate and Estate and inheritance tax.

This thread is of immense value: Death Book, it's a checklist for your terminally ill friend.

I absolutely agree to let the attorney handle this. This is a stressful time and what may be perceived as overbearing control by one person may be seen as "trying to do the right thing" by someone else.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 3:27 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed.
Whom are you quoting?
Raymond wrote:I would be concerned about sibling A (OK, maybe either sibling) draining the bank accounts and anything else he/she has passwords to while your friend's body is still warm.
The purpose of POA is to allow management of your affairs when you are unable to. We have no statement that A is doing otherwise. All we really know from the OP is that B wants the house and B doesn't understand the financial or legal situation.
Near retirement wrote:sibling B can communicate to bank to try to help avoid sibling A's inappropriate use of funds.
Is there inappropriate use of funds? You did not say this in your OP. What inappropriate use has there been? Is paying bills and simplifying finances inappropriate?
Calm Man wrote:There is often one evil, greedy sibling. The idea of an out of town sibling wanting to plan the disposition of assets before the death is well, evil.
Why is A evil? Why is planning disposition of assets, especially when there are debts to settle, evil?

Since we're all jumping to conclusions, I'll jump to the conclusion that A is doing the right thing and B is incompetent.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by lululu » Tue May 27, 2014 6:04 am

Bob's not my name wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed.
Whom are you quoting?
Raymond wrote:I would be concerned about sibling A (OK, maybe either sibling) draining the bank accounts and anything else he/she has passwords to while your friend's body is still warm.
The purpose of POA is to allow management of your affairs when you are unable to. We have no statement that A is doing otherwise. All we really know from the OP is that B wants the house and B doesn't understand the financial or legal situation.
Near retirement wrote:sibling B can communicate to bank to try to help avoid sibling A's inappropriate use of funds.
Is there inappropriate use of funds? You did not say this in your OP. What inappropriate use has there been? Is paying bills and simplifying finances inappropriate?
Calm Man wrote:There is often one evil, greedy sibling. The idea of an out of town sibling wanting to plan the disposition of assets before the death is well, evil.
Why is A evil? Why is planning disposition of assets, especially when there are debts to settle, evil?

Since we're all jumping to conclusions, I'll jump to the conclusion that A is doing the right thing and B is incompetent.
A is the secondary. He or she is running around doing stuff (I will refrain from saying draining) to the parent's accounts against the will of B, the primary.

B needs to contact a suitable lawyer and also needs to read the power of attorney, will and if any trust documents and develop some backbone.

He or she also needs to cut off A's access to the accounts. The banks should be contacted immediately. B should visit them in person with copies of both powers of attorney.

This looks like chaos, with a potential large loss of money even before death, when it should be straightforward due to legal documents.

As to the OP, I agree - tell this to B and then do not get mixed up in it.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Tue May 27, 2014 6:37 am

After death I think the POAs are irrelevant and the probate process becomes determinant. Whatever the will, if any, says is controlling.
Just a reminder for the OP with regard to the bolded sentence: Retirement account beneficiary designations control what happens to the accounts, rather than the will. So, now would probably be a good time for the friend (the mother) to check her 403(b) beneficiaries.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 7:42 am

Near retirement wrote:From what I understand, B has primary POA but A (secondary POA) has somehow gained access to bank account, 403-b, etc. to assess what is there and is managing the mother's affairs. B seems to have deferred to A's decision to do this
Do we believe A is really secondary and has "somehow" gained access to multiple accounts improperly? Certainly it doesn't appear to be "against the will of B" -- all we know is that "B seems to have deferred". OP has no basis for intervening without knowledge of how the POA reads and how the assets are held. A may be doing everything properly, but beyond the comprehension of B. Or A may be self-serving. Or B may be self-serving. Or both A and B may be self-serving.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue May 27, 2014 7:54 am

Near retirement wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed. The will must be filed with the court and probated prior to the instructions of the will can be carried out by the executor. Sibling B can put a halt to the POA pilfering bank accounts by informing the bank of the account holders death - the bank will require an official certificate of death before paying out to beneficiaries. Real estate can't be transferred without probated will (if not in a trust). What other assets does the friend have that sibling A believes they can just "dispose" of immediately?
gr2b,

Since my friend is still alive, sibling B can communicate to bank to try to help avoid sibling A's inappropriate use of funds.
Who's name is listed on the bank account as being the Power of Attorney? Usually there is a card attached to the account documentation, on that card is verbiage that says I, Jane Doe hereby grant a revocable durable power of attorney on Bank Account XYZ to.....Jim Doe, Jane Doe signs the card, followed by Jim Doe as Power of Attorney with a copy of their drivers license or US Passport. If Sibling A's name and signature is on that card, then Sibling B short of a lawsuit has no claim and the Bank will not take any action other than to advise Sibling B to leave the premises.
If Sibling B is the POA, then that is a different matter all together.

The only way to revoke the POA is for the account holder to appear at the Bank and tell them she wants to revoke it.
And this is why....I don't like durable power of attorney's............ :annoyed
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue May 27, 2014 7:56 am

Bob's not my name wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed.
Whom are you quoting?

Surrogate's Court where they probate wills for a living. To sell someone's assets whether they are alive or dead without proper permission is called theft.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Professor Emeritus » Tue May 27, 2014 8:04 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
The only way to revoke the POA is for the account holder to appear at the Bank and tell them she wants to revoke it.
And this is why....I don't like durable power of attorney's............ :annoyed
This is certainly not true . A bank that is given proper written notice of a revocation of a POA would fail to honor the revocation at its peril . You are perhaps confusing the actions of banks that fail to honor a POA in the first place.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 8:08 am

"ASAP" is not the same thing as without proper permission. Certainly I don't think B comprehends what A is doing, so we have no basis for knowing whether it's proper or improper. I prefer to presume innocence until at least an accusation of guilt is made by somebody who knows something. Acting as POA, trustee, or executor is a difficult and thankless task.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by sscritic » Tue May 27, 2014 8:09 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Bob's not my name wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed.
Whom are you quoting?

Surrogate's Court where they probate wills for a living. To sell someone's assets whether they are alive or dead without proper permission is called theft.
It's really hard to tell who is quoting whom when you don't match up the beginning and end quote markers. They come in pairs (like parentheses. <-- get it? Yours are matched, but are in the wrong place. Since NotBob wrote the whom in question, the whom must be within the range of his quote marker pair. You also have too many pairs. Also, you had a floating quote marker, but when I quoted you, it got matched, so what you see here as your quote is not actually the quote you see in your post. It is confusing, but quote markers have to be carefully watched.

Let me fix that for you, at least to what I think you were trying to write.
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Bob's not my name wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Umm, no, sibling A can't just "dispose of assets at will" after the decedent has passed.
Whom are you quoting?
Surrogate's Court where they probate wills for a living. To sell someone's assets whether they are alive or dead without proper permission is called theft.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue May 27, 2014 8:36 am

Professor Emeritus wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
The only way to revoke the POA is for the account holder to appear at the Bank and tell them she wants to revoke it.
And this is why....I don't like durable power of attorney's............ :annoyed
This is certainly not true . A bank that is given proper written notice of a revocation of a POA would fail to honor the revocation at its peril . You are perhaps confusing the actions of banks that fail to honor a POA in the first place.
The key word is "proper written notice" and what the Bank deems to be "proper". I used to work in a bank - you'd be surprised or may be not, the sheningans folks used to try and pull because "the bank can afford to eat it if a mistake was made". :annoyed
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by PaddyMac » Tue May 27, 2014 9:27 am

Sorry to hear about your friend. One simple thing B could do is setup "alerts" for the bank account. Anytime ANY transaction occurs, B will get an email immediately.

When your friend passes, POA ends. At that point, the money should stay in the bank until all expenses incurred are paid. This may take a few months. My MIL passed away at the end of February and BIL is still waiting to settle the checking account.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 9:41 am

PaddyMac wrote:At that point, the money should stay in the bank until all expenses incurred are paid. This may take a few months.
More than a year, in my experience, but I've done this only twice. Medical bills can literally take a year to settle. The final tax return, which may present a tax obligation and which may incur accountant fees, will probably take until May of the following calendar year to settle, so that may be up to seventeen months after death.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by SimonJester » Tue May 27, 2014 9:56 am

I would also add if you friend is still able, have whom ever is going to be the executor of the will discuss where important documentation is. Listing of account statements, insurance documents, financial documents.

And as others stated make sure your friend has an up to date will and beneficiaries on accounts. Also making two people co executors if even allowed by the state is not a good idea. They will fight for months and the lawyers will win. Choose one person (probably the one in the house) and have them run through probate.

The house will need to be sold to pay off the mortgage, or one sibling will need to refinance the loan and pay the other sibling 1/2 of the equity (assuming the will splits things 50/50).
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Calm Man » Tue May 27, 2014 10:25 am

sscritic wrote:
Calm Man wrote: The idea of an out of town sibling wanting to plan the disposition of assets before the death is well, evil.
Where do you see the word before in the OP? I don't see it with respect to disposition, or are you talking about planning before?
dispose of all assets ASAP upon the mother's death
I am out of town relative to my father, and my sister and I talk all the time about how best to dispose of my father's assets when the time comes. Actually, my father talks to both of us about his estate. The last time I went to visit, he took me to his attorney to review some changes. I am going again for Father's day, and I know he will talk about his estate yet again. Planning for his death and for the disposition is called planning (that's why the word is in there), and I have always considered planning a good thing. I guess I am evil. Let me find that evil smilie. :evil: and one more for good measure, the other one. :twisted:
\

You caught me.... What I meant was that if the parent is dying I would prefer that the evil sibling not focus on planning the disposition of assets but rather visit and try to comfort the mother. It's like the evil one can't wait to get her hands on the money.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by sscritic » Tue May 27, 2014 10:31 am

Calm Man wrote: You caught me.... What I meant was that if the parent is dying I would prefer that the evil sibling not focus on planning the disposition of assets but rather visit and try to comfort the mother. It's like the evil one can't wait to get her hands on the money.
Here we agree. I am stepping up the frequency of my visits to my father as he approaches the end (he is still in his own house, not a hospital, but time is running out). However, I can't take full credit. My daughter keeps telling me to go visit more often; she herself takes her family at least three times a year to visit her grandfather.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 10:36 am

Calm Man wrote:It's like the evil one can't wait to get her hands on the money.
Which one is the evil one? The one who wants the house or the one managing the dying person's finances? On what basis do we know either of them is evil? Are out-of-state offspring evil by definition because they moved out of state? Which states are most evil to leave (just so I know which states not to leave)? Is the co-habitating child or the out-of-state child best positioned to manage the health care? If the other child is managing the health care, is the unburdened child a saint or a devil for managing the finances, something that can be done from afar? Should all out-of-state children abandon their dying parents in their hour of need and let their affairs fall into disarray, even if the parents asked them to take on this responsibility? If I name one of my children POA should I tell him I don't really mean it so he knows to do nothing when the time comes?

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by goblue100 » Tue May 27, 2014 11:05 am

Calm Man wrote:You caught me.... What I meant was that if the parent is dying I would prefer that the evil sibling not focus on planning the disposition of assets but rather visit and try to comfort the mother. It's like the evil one can't wait to get her hands on the money.
I have to say, I guess I would be considered the evil one. When I read the OP it seems to me that A is probably doing what he or she does best(dealing with realities and finances), while B is doing what he or she does best(caregiving, nurturing). There was nothing in the OP about A spending money wrongly. Who is the executor of the will? It sounds to me like B is expecting to live in the house for a long time after your friend passes while A wants to sell it. Perhaps there was an expectation that in return for taking care of your friend, B would get a place to live. Your friend could fix everything by leaving the house to B and other assets to A. Then it would be B's decision when to sell the house.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Calm Man » Tue May 27, 2014 11:14 am

Bob's not my name wrote:
Calm Man wrote:It's like the evil one can't wait to get her hands on the money.
Which one is the evil one? The one who wants the house or the one managing the dying person's finances? On what basis do we know either of them is evil? Are out-of-state offspring evil by definition because they moved out of state? Which states are most evil to leave (just so I know which states not to leave)? Is the co-habitating child or the out-of-state child best positioned to manage the health care? If the other child is managing the health care, is the unburdened child a saint or a devil for managing the finances, something that can be done from afar? Should all out-of-state children abandon their dying parents in their hour of need and let their affairs fall into disarray, even if the parents asked them to take on this responsibility? If I name one of my children POA should I tell him I don't really mean it so he knows to do nothing when the time comes?
The out of state one is the evil one. Not because she is out of state. But because she is trying to cash in even before death. I do not know if the one living in the home is a "good" one. But at least she is helping her mother while the evil one out of town is doing nothing but salivating at getting an inheritance. That, in my mind, is evil. You might consider it opportunistic.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by investingdad » Tue May 27, 2014 11:35 am

Not evil, just sensing a windfall. My mom and her two brothers played this game out when my grandmother and great aunt died. The eldest brother managed to secure, via manipulation of their aunt, two shares of the final estate whereas my mom and her other brother each recieved only one share each.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Retread » Tue May 27, 2014 11:40 am

ralph124cf wrote:In my state, there cannot be co-executors of a will. There can be multiple executors in line, but only one can exercise power at a time.
What state is this? It's news to me.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by sscritic » Tue May 27, 2014 11:53 am

There can be co-executors in California. My will was drawn up by a reputable law firm. My sister is executor, but if she can't or won't, then
I appoint (name of child 1) and (name of child 2) to act as my Successor Co-Executor(s).

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 12:14 pm

Child 2 sounds evil.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by sscritic » Tue May 27, 2014 12:19 pm

The OP talks to one child and not the other. The OP only knows one side of the story. We don't know how self-serving that one sided story is. I wouldn't be surprised that a child living in the house, perhaps with no place else to go, would want to stay there as long as possible.

OP, did you get your information directly from your friend or only from the one child?

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by freddie » Tue May 27, 2014 1:14 pm

No kidding. Bad enough he is leaching off the mom by living rent free while she is alive, now he wants to keep on doing it after she is dead? I bet he hopes to draw it out for 2-3+ years while the estate has to keep paying his rent. You want to beat that he has been working on Mom to get more than his fair share of the estate for the past several years.

Which story is closer to the truth (greedy out of state brother or mooching instate brother) is impossible for us to say. Hopefully the friend has a clue about what is going on and sets up a valid will.
Bob's not my name wrote:Child 2 sounds evil.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by harrylime » Tue May 27, 2014 1:51 pm

SimonJester wrote:The house will need to be sold to pay off the mortgage...
Not necessarily. The lender cannot demand accelerated re-payment if a relative is inheriting.

SimonJester wrote:... or one sibling will need to refinance the loan and pay the other sibling 1/2 of the equity (assuming the will splits things 50/50).
Or, if there are other assets in the estate, those other assets could be distributed to the one child in order to achieve an overall 50/50 distribution.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Ged » Tue May 27, 2014 2:09 pm

Bob's not my name wrote:
PaddyMac wrote:At that point, the money should stay in the bank until all expenses incurred are paid. This may take a few months.
More than a year, in my experience, but I've done this only twice. Medical bills can literally take a year to settle. The final tax return, which may present a tax obligation and which may incur accountant fees, will probably take until May of the following calendar year to settle, so that may be up to seventeen months after death.
As far as settlement goes that's about right. However given the particular facts associated with a given estate some early disbursements may be possible. That question is really up to the executor with some advise from the attorney and possibly permission of the court involved.

For example my father's estate was below the Federal and State Estate Tax exemption amounts, and he had no debts. His final medical bills were cleared in 4 months. When he passed the only thing in question was sale of his residence and the expenses associated therewith. I sold all of his equities so there was no significant income associated with the estate, making tax preparation simple.

Once the house sale was closed (which was after all of the other expenses had been paid) I disbursed about 70% of the estate. That was about 6 months. That helped out one of my brothers who had some tuition bills coming in quite a bit.

The final disbursement was about 12 months after that.

One thing I had on my side was that the beneficiaries were my 3 brothers who were very helpful in this entire process. An adversarial relationship would have made things far more difficult.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by LadyGeek » Tue May 27, 2014 3:11 pm

Near retirement wrote:1. could the attorney handling the mother's will serve to mediate the differences of opinion RE: the disposition of assets? I believe the children will be co-executors of the will, but that is unknown. Should separate attorneys be considered?
2. How long does probate typically take?
3.I do not know the family dynamics but I am sensing they are not good. B has asked for my guidance as I am a friend of the mother. I have said, let attorney handle, but I feel I could help more. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Let's avoid guessing the motives of the siblings (A vs. B) and focus on answering the OP's questions.

Please stay on-topic, which is a fact-finding discussion of POA, attorneys, probate, and related matters.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Tue May 27, 2014 3:15 pm

goblue100 wrote:
Calm Man wrote:You caught me.... What I meant was that if the parent is dying I would prefer that the evil sibling not focus on planning the disposition of assets but rather visit and try to comfort the mother. It's like the evil one can't wait to get her hands on the money.
I have to say, I guess I would be considered the evil one. When I read the OP it seems to me that A is probably doing what he or she does best(dealing with realities and finances), while B is doing what he or she does best(caregiving, nurturing). There was nothing in the OP about A spending money wrongly. Who is the executor of the will? It sounds to me like B is expecting to live in the house for a long time after your friend passes while A wants to sell it. Perhaps there was an expectation that in return for taking care of your friend, B would get a place to live. Your friend could fix everything by leaving the house to B and other assets to A. Then it would be B's decision when to sell the house.
I do not believe child B is interesting in a protracted "living in the house" arrangement. Rather, I believe there is fear that sibling A will want to sell the house fast and sibling B will not have an immediate place to live. My guess is that there is more sentimental value for B RE: the house as it was the home place.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 3:20 pm

Near retirement wrote:1. could the attorney handling the mother's will serve to mediate the differences of opinion RE: the disposition of assets? I believe the children will be co-executors of the will, but that is unknown. Should separate attorneys be considered?
2. How long does probate typically take?
3.I do not know the family dynamics but I am sensing they are not good. B has asked for my guidance as I am a friend of the mother. I have said, let attorney handle, but I feel I could help more. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
1. What differences of opinion are there?
2. Will the estate be probated, or are the assets held in trust? I avoided probate altogether by making sure all assets were moved into the trust or transferred before death. For example, I transferred title in a car from the dying to the surviving spouse. It might be wise for A or B to do something similar.
3. I suggest you answer all questions with more questions, such as those above. Answers based on incorrect or incomplete information are dangerous, so I wouldn't give any.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Tue May 27, 2014 4:21 pm

Bob's not my name wrote:
Near retirement wrote:1. could the attorney handling the mother's will serve to mediate the differences of opinion RE: the disposition of assets? I believe the children will be co-executors of the will, but that is unknown. Should separate attorneys be considered?
2. How long does probate typically take?
3.I do not know the family dynamics but I am sensing they are not good. B has asked for my guidance as I am a friend of the mother. I have said, let attorney handle, but I feel I could help more. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
1. What differences of opinion are there?
2. Will the estate be probated, or are the assets held in trust? I avoided probate altogether by making sure all assets were moved into the trust or transferred before death. For example, I transferred title in a car from the dying to the surviving spouse. It might be wise for A or B to do something similar.
3. I suggest you answer all questions with more questions, such as those above. Answers based on incorrect or incomplete information are dangerous, so I wouldn't give any.
I will try to answer your questions, BNMN.
1. From what I gather, they differ on haste of settling house sale or foreclosure. House needs a lot of work.
2. The estate will be probated. My friend is not able to make any binding decisions as she state of mind and dwindling life are not sufficient. I assume car and property are all in her name (she is divorced).
3. Answering with more questions is a great suggestion.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Bob's not my name » Tue May 27, 2014 4:30 pm

Near retirement wrote:1. From what I gather, they differ on haste of settling house sale or foreclosure. House needs a lot of work.
This is the first mention of foreclosure. The situation may be quite complicated, and I'm not sure whether haste is wise or unwise. With this new information, perhaps others can comment on the risks to the heirs of an underwater property.
Near retirement wrote:2. The estate will be probated. My friend is not able to make any binding decisions as she state of mind and dwindling life are not sufficient. I assume car and property are all in her name (she is divorced).
This conflicts with your statement that the children have POA. If they do, the dying mother shouldn't have to make decisions. But, again, the situation sounds rather more complicated than we have heretofore understood. Perhaps A is moving quickly to contain the damage. We don't know.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by OutInThirteen » Tue May 27, 2014 9:15 pm

Bob's not my name wrote:
Near retirement wrote:1. From what I gather, they differ on haste of settling house sale or foreclosure. House needs a lot of work.
This is the first mention of foreclosure. The situation may be quite complicated, and I'm not sure whether haste is wise or unwise. With this new information, perhaps others can comment on the risks to the heirs of an underwater property.
This can be complicated - or not - depending upon the specifics of the property. My wife (executor) recently had to decide how to dispose of her sibling's house. First thing we did was to go to a local realtor and request a market analysis. Until the executor has some reasonable idea of the property's value, it's just an agonizing guessing game as to how to proceed. 1) If the property goes to foreclosure, there is a lot of uncertainty, especially if there's a chance the lender will pursue a deficiency judgment (if the property is underwater) and at the same time seek the court's approval to have the estate cover the lender's foreclosure fees and expenses. 2) Then there is the short sale option, but this requires the executor to continue to expend estate resources while the property is on the market, and also requires consent of the lender. A poor local real estate market makes this difficult. 3) What worked best in our case was to offer the lender a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which was accepted. The house was appraised by the lender at slightly higher than the outstanding mortgage balance, but not high enough to cover realtor commissions and closing costs, which would have required the estate to take money to closing (if a short sale was not available). In our state, an executor has the statutory right to abandon property (without the court's approval) if, in the opinion of the executor, it is of little or no value. The market analysis provided the data to support my wife's opinion. It would be a breach of the executor's fiduciary duty to take money to closing - if the lender does not agree to a short sale, foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure are really the only options to dispose of the property. Of course, the above isn't applicable if one or more heirs are interested in keeping the property by some means.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:55 pm

Update:

My friend passed away. Her will designated the older sibling as the executor of her estate. The two siblings have just received the paperwork from TIAA-CREF to access their portions of their mother's 403-B savings. I am still trying to ask questions and provide limited guidance without being too directive. The executor has asked me what to do with his portion of the 403-B proceeds (not a large amount <$150,000).

Here is what I believe is the best advice. I would appreciate any further insights and advice.

1. Try not to take a large cash distribution due to taxes, both state and federal.
2. Determine options ...e.g., IRA; annual distributions; other?
3. I believe the executor is interested in some of the $ for living expenses; he is currently unemployed.

Are 403-B assets immune from creditors? Health care bills for long illness will be astronomically, I surmise.

Are there other questions or considerations on which I should guide him to focus?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
NR

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:12 pm

Who is the older sibling, A or B?

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:17 pm

I'm sorry for your loss. Earlier this year, my father passed away. I updated the wiki based on my experience going through this process, which will hopefully provide some insight.

First, be aware of the Step-up in basis, which will impact taxes.

Next: Estate and inheritance tax. Especially read the IRS publication at the top of the page: IRS Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators

Additional reading:
- Inheriting an IRA

I don't have the experience to help with a 403-B.
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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:40 am

dolphinsaremammals wrote:Who is the older sibling, A or B?
B is the older sibling, and is the executor. The other sibling, A, is still trying to run the show and because B is uncertain and easily manipulated (I surmise), it is very interesting.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Near retirement » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:40 pm

Near retirement wrote:
dolphinsaremammals wrote:Who is the older sibling, A or B?
B is the older sibling, and is the executor. The other sibling, A, is still trying to run the show and because B is uncertain and easily manipulated (I surmise), it is very interesting.
Does anyone have experience specifically with TIAA-CREF or 403-B? Would appreciate any guidance.

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Re: HELP for dying friend ...

Post by Globalviewer58 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:20 pm

Here's a link to worksheets in manual regarding inherited 403-B accounts. No required distribution until original holder reaches age 70.

http://individual.troweprice.com/static ... eGuide.pdf

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