Need to vent about banks -- POA and a trust.

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I'm sorry, folks, my past 3 or maybe it was only 2 (I can't remember) days have been so awful this is the first I've been on the site for a while.

For months I have been writing out Mother's checks. For a while she signed them and then I started signing her name on them. However, sometimes in paying the bills, it got so normal that sometimes I'd sign my name. So, I decided I need to take the POA which I finally accepted about 6 months ago, but Mother had the foresight to do 13 years ago, to the bank.

Well, I walked into the bank with a check for her monthly money and the POA and explained to the guy what I was doing. The one branch had told me all I needed to do was present the POA and all would be fine. He said "the same person who filled out the check, signed it." I said yes, I did, but I have this POA. Well, he tells me he can't accept it; I have to talk with an officer. OMG, it had been so bad I lost it. The way he said it got me really upset. I start saying fine give me an GD officer, and I start crying and a little cursing -- thank goodness no one else was in the bank at the time. Well, long sorry short, the bank will not accept the POA because the checking account is in a trust and a trust can't have a POA. This stupid woman officer sits there and says how she understand; I say no you don't. You have no idea the pressure & stress I'm under and you won't help me on account of a stupid technicality. My Mother has over $12K in just a checking account on which you pay only $1.04 interest a month, but you are probably making a lot more money on by loaning it to other people. They refused to cash the check. Refused to honor the POA. So, I grabbed the check, went to another branch, walked in and acted like a normal month and at least they cashed it. OMG, it was not pretty, but I don't care. My Mother is the most important thing, not my reputation in this stupid town.

Well, the next day, I took Mother to the bank, had a check written out but not signed and had her sign it in front of the clerk. The bank had suggested I go to an attorney and have paper drawn up putting me as trustee on the trust. Why should I pay for an attorney on something I can skirt around. Thank goodness we switched all the CDs to dividend bearing stocks years ago or that stupid dang bank would be making even more money off her.

Thank goodness, Mother had a lucid moment and said in the car, "Tell me what we are doing so I don't have to ask in front of the bank people"...lol...I was so proud of her. All went well. We withdrew all the money except for about $300. We went to another bank opened a new checking account and they accepted the POA because that account is not in the trust. Problem might be that account will have to go through probate because it is not in the trust. But if I see death is coming, I'll close the account. Plus she has a stock money market account to pay everything anyway. I'm just so angry at that bank I can't tell you. Nothing but a case of CYA!

As soon as I get her SS check and her pension check direct deposit switched to the new bank checking account, I will also close my account and switch my stuff. Show that stupid bank what they can do with their technicalities.

Sorry folks, didn't mean to go on or vent so much. Some times it is just very cathartic for me to type out my feelings. Plus, I just found out yesterday, that Mother's blood work -- she's lost 7 pounds in 3 months and I asked a question on OTC appetite increasers -- was not good. Her white blood cell count is down to 910. We are doing a recheck on Monday. This is a woman who is on fewer meds than me for my cardiac stent and, except for knee replacement surgery 3 years ago, has never been in the hospital except for having her children.

I know a lot of people on here have not so many funds and I apologize for venting on a different problem. I'm amazed my folks built up the money they did. My Dad was just a milkman who delivered milk and my Mother a part time seamstress, neither made near the money I have in a yearly salary, but geez were they able to save. I doubt I'll be in as good a financial shape.

I'm sorry, the progression of this disease has me just flabbergasted and .... at a loss for words. Thanks to all for being there and letting me vent.

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LEP, if the checking account is in the trust, which is the problem I had, and you are currently a trustee on the trust, you have no worries on the checking account. The trust continues as is after death. The new trustees just take over. No problems. My two brothers and I will be trustees on the trust after Mother dies. The thing is, that my bank told me and why they refused to honor the POA, a trust cannot have a POA. They suggested I become a current trustee on the trust now before she dies, which I didn't want to do because (1) I have the POA and (2) I have a brother who does nothing to help out and all he does is make accusations. Plus, I hate paying legal fees when I can figure a way to skirt around it. So, I just found it easier to open a new checking account that is not in the trust and on which I am POA. As I said, if I see things happening, I will close that checking account that is not in the trust, so it does not have to go through probate and pay everything out of the stock money market checking account.

But, if your folk's checking account is in the trust, which I gather from your posts, and you are a current trustee, there is no problem.

My apologies to any attorneys on this site. I also worked in the legal field for over 20+ years as an expert witness. Most, not all, attorneys like to make us feel like they know it all, and we totally need them. Whereas, if you use common sense and just do what seems natural, they really are not always necessary. You can do so much of this yourself if you use common sense.

So, I could not see paying an attorney to put me on the estate as a current trustee when I could merely take Mother to the bank, have her withdraw the money there in front of them and start a new checking account outside the trust, that honored the POA. Screw paying an attorney. Sorry, folks, for the language, a long hard day.

But today, at least I finally got up the nerve to ask my Mother to sign a contract giving me and the one brother who does help a salary of $20/day. Not a lot and I don't want a lot, but it will show the other dip shit brother what it is about. So, I'm with Mother about, depending, 5 to 7 hours a day, so that's what? About $3.33 an hour? It's not about the money, it's about the principal of his not helping.

Thanks so much for you all being here. Tonight was the first night, I walked over at midnight to make sure her kitty got his night meds and I notice the front door totally opened and unlocked. OMG...a new problem, but I'll deal with it -- thanks to the support I get from this website. You are all great!
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Debralee, that's how my mother's acct is registered also. It is joint, with me designated as POD, POA. (I suppose the PayOnDeath is a moot point, but that's the way they set it up way back when). It is strictly used for her expenses only. Since the registration clearly shows my POA designation, I am not personally at risk with creditors for her money. And of course the other important advantage is that the account will not be frozen upon her death. That used to be a comfort, but unfortunately in Mom's case, it is reduced to a joke, as the NH takes just about every penny each month!
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I am joint on my mother's checking account, Dpoa and Executor of her will. Legally the checking account amount will be automatically passed on to me. I do not co-mingle my fiances with hers. I handle the account strictly as a convenience account. When she passes I will use some of the money to pay for any outstanding debts. Any monies left over will be deposited into the estate account to be divided to the heirs along with all probatable assets. The heirs are me and my two siblings. Her estate is too small for any inheritence/estate taxes. The joint account idea is so that her checking account will not be frozen upon her death and I can continue to pay any oustanding debts.
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Lep627, I respect your experience as a legal secretary, but I am surprised that any account is under your personal individual social security #. I am almost certain that any assets under your personal SS# are attachable by creditors and the IRS. I would think that as a Trustee, POA, or other legal designee, you would have been assigned a separate tax ID# in that capacity. I used to work for an investment advisor and when clients put their assets into a trust, the Trust had a tax ID# which was separate from the Trustee's personal SS#. It was the TRUST Tax ID# that went on the bank accounts, and the Trustee was the authorized signator. I am glad you are looking for a new Elder Law attorney. To safeguard your own interests, I hope you will also get air tight facts from the new lawyer as to the repercussions of using your own SS# as a legal reperesentative on someone else's assets.
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Thanks for letting me know about the bank account being frozen at time of death. I will call the bank. I just fired the Elder Law attorney (and looking for a new one). But I am the Trustee too. Though I don't know if that makes any difference. Thanks everyone for telling me about that.
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I was lucky in that my parents had been adding my name to all their asseets before my mother got sick ( dad has Alz) . however, she ended up in the hospital with CHF before it was all done. The bank has been great (dad can still sign his name) and I can handle their finances, but I am stessing over selling their home. Mom is sharp, but Dad is gonna be a handfull! I have POA, but this is gonna be a mess I'm afraid.
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I've got all but 2 of a case of Heineken, left over from a party this week. Where should I send it? ;)
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yay i was right about something AND i have a cool new beer mug. the 3rd armored division was deactivated after desert storm so the mug is especially a rarity.
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@captain.. every one of us is wrong at some point.. besides, you weren't wrong about the checking account being frozen once a person dies, you're right!
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im often wrong but i still have a cool new beer mug.. suckers !!
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