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My attorney gave me a checklist of everything that would be needed to execute the will. If there are funds in a bank account and you tell the bank how to disperse the funds be sure to tell them to close the account after that if that's what you want to do otherwise you will continue to get statements for that account and sometimes add a fee for keeping it open. My brother was the executor of my dad's estate and procrastinated big time. I accidently found out that I could collect my share of the inheritance once the judgement of possession was created. Once that happens there is no longer an executor. i could have been taking care of things on my own if I had known that instead of having to wait on my brother. His wife died over 10 years and still has not settled her estate.
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My mom is quite ill. She doesn't have enough life insurance even for a decent cremation. I am her POA, so is it possible for me to purchase burial insurance for her? If so where do I start?
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Sorry, the insurance company requires a death certificate to get a check.
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The funeral home requires a death certificate to get the check.
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To echo an earlier response, you said you are a beneficiary of an insurance policy. As such you have no legal requirements to do anything with respect to your mom or her estate after she passes.

You may have a "verbal agreement" with your mom that your are going to do one thing or another with the money you will get from the insurance policy. If so, that is not enforceable, and you can do with the money what you and your mom discussed or not. Bottom line is if mom named you beneficiary of the insurance policy the money is yours to do with as you choose, and you have no other legal obligations.
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First, her insurance company. They will explain.

Nothing other than paying upfront for her funeral. Call a funeral home and see if you can assign the policy to them if you don't have burial funds.

The death certificate is issued after the funeral/burial/cremation by the county within 30 days in my case. The funeral home in most cases notifies social security of the death and the VA too.
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Thank you for your answer We have the Funeral arrangment in place Plus I have a DNR also in place for both my mom and I. I'm trying to stay right on top of everything that has to be done, I also have all the paper work done and it has been in place for the last 5 years or so. mrjess5
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Your question was related to your being the beneficiary of the life insurance policy.

If the insurance policy is your mother's only asset I would imagine she intended for it to cover her funeral expenses. Unless she has already taken care of that.
That is the only thing I can think of that you may be morally responsible for.
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I can't answer your question precise but I do have this related thought to offer.
If you still have time, you may want to make the funeral arrangements now. When the doctors told me my father had perhaps only weeks to live, I went to the mortuary for "pre-planning" and I'm so glad I did. I learned that you can pay up front for a policy that will lock in the prices of what you select, and allow you to make decisions in a (somewhat) less emotional state of mind, possible saving yourself or the estate expenses that might come from grief, guilt or impulse at the time of death.
In the event that all her resources are spent while she lives and your loved one needs to rely on Medicaid for further hospital or nursing home costs, the money you put into this pre-planning policy is NOT considered an asset, when Medicaid calculates the spend-down. So it's protected, where other assets, such as a house, would not be protected.
My father lived about 9 months longer after the doctors said he only had weeks left. We were within just a few months of running out of his savings to pay for the nursing home. (Thank goodness I had him in my home for 4 years before we had to make the nursing home decision.) But I never had to worry about paying for acceptable -nice but not extravagant- funeral and burial expenses, which would have otherwise had to come out-of-pocket from me and my siblings.
I may be writing this after the fact of your loss, and if so, please accept my condolences. If not, you have my heartfelt sympathy for what you're experiencing now, because in many ways, watching her suffer and waiting for the inevitable is also very difficult. No matter when it comes, the loss of a parent is hard and sad.
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Thank You all for your comments I'm going through something like you mentioned in your statements. My brother lives in Virgina and sister lives somewhere in Florida and neither of them have seen our mother in years and when it comes to her passing away they will be looking for something but it's already in the will and last statement that my mom had done 6 years ago. I'm the exctor and POA on what our mom has, I've been with our mother for the last 18years and now she has Demeture and Alzhimers diagnoised 2 years ago, iI take her to all of her doctors appointments,hairdresser appointments,etc. I'm her soul caregiver but if I have to do something her Granddaughter will releave me to get things done that I have to do. Again THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND GREAT COMMENTS.
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Well, if she understands and is willing, you can have mom change her power of attorney and change the will to a different executor. An estate planner could visit and redo all the documents with you and mom, and it may still be possible to put assets into a trust and avoid probate. If brother is not visiting much, there is not much chance he will talk her into changing any documents again to put him back in control. And you could stil let him have half or at least 30-40%, so there would not be much grounds to contest it. But, don't underestimate greed. Some people who have a lot are generous, and some just want more and will go to any length to get it.
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What happens if there is no DNR order and two children who has to decide?
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Several years ago my mother was of sound mind and good health. We were trying to set up a trust instead of the will that is 50 years old and has my brother listed as executer of the estate. He has been absent from our family for 20years as soon as he got married his wife she cut him off from all his friends and family. We tried to get him to see my mother and me his only sister when his wife was busy. We could have dinner a few times a year on our birthdays and sometime during the Christmas season. Other than that we never saw him. He has a very lucrative business and is in the 6 figure income bracket. My mother fell a few months ago after we went to our once a year get together for her 83rd birthday. He said he was too "broke" to buy us presents but we both gave him a birthday gift. I say that to show you how little he thought of us and how cheap he is. Can't afford a card?!? When we started going over her papers I saw that the "death" benefit" on her Merrill Lynch account was still my grandmother who has been dead for 15 years! She thought she had changed it to split between my brother and I even though he has more money than she has ever had. Everything is to be split evenly according to the will. Her house is paid for but has lost most of it's value in the economic crash. We will be lucky to even sell it in this market. However I believe a death benefit is available before probate of the will is this correct? Since I found the error she signed the benefit over to me alone after getting it notarized and sending in the request, which is why it was not ever taken out of my grandmother's name as she thought a phone call to the company was all that was required to change beneficiaries . It is still in my name and now she is close to the end. She fell several times and is having heart problems. I don't know what to do when that time comes to stop my brother from controlling the estate and would like any advise from those who might know the proper procedure for collecting the funds without the probate court or my brother contesting it or holding it up? Any help and advise would be greatly appreciated.
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Please consider getting a lawyer. General practioner is all you need. Ask prices first. If there isn't a lot of money, stock, etc involved the prices should be low. As Executor if is your position to act for the deceased. Any bills should be paid out of the "estate" (sale of home, car, any assets) If there is insurance payable to you and/or others this is not part of the estate and not subject to debts. You can stall off the debts (hospital, etc. until the property (if there is any) is sold. Be sure that you or the lawyer ask for a payoff (what the credit card companies will accept to clear the debt). There are so many things that need to be done if there are any assets that the safest way is to take it to a lawyer. Make sure to check if there is a will - and call around to the law offices (unless she tells you) to find out where the will is. Chances are that if there is one that firm will be familiar with the deceased and will be there to help you. If the will is found in the home you can hire anyone to guide you through the process. It makes life a lot easier. Sign me: Been there
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Both posts above are excellent information. It's a lot easier (and less expensive) to request multiple death certificates initially, than to have to order more at a later time; so definitely order quite a few extra. The funeral director will assist you in that also. Yes, the insurance companies, social security, pensions, etc. are all extremely helpful in assisting you through the process. Also you say that mom is in poor health and can pass at any time. Is she coherent now? If she is and doesn't have a Living will or Do Not Resisitate Order - get them done now! Is Mom home or in a facility now? They can help you with those papers. If she's at home and does not have those papers, go to a local hospital or rehab center, or on-line and get those forms. They will need to be witnessed when she signs and her doctor will have to sign the DNR form along with mom - if those in fact are her wishes. Believe me having those forms takes a lot of pressure and guilt away from you, when having to make decisions. I needed both with my mom - which she had filled out thank God. What health concerns is mom going through now - you state she may pass at any time. I was told that 3 years ago with my mom - that she could pass at any time - when she was in the hospital and then she amazed all doctors and went back to live at home alone - doing everything for herself. 2 years later she fell and broke a hip - did great through surgery - but over 4 months developed numerous health concerns and doctors called me and told me she wouldn't make it through the night - and then 2 days later was being released from the hospital to go back to rehab - that happened numerous times. Again amazing all the doctors and nurses. Talk about miracles!!! She then developed a hole in her colon and had poisons shutting down her organs and body. It was then that I needed the living will. Just trying to tell you that you never know when they are going to die! That's God's decision and I saw it with my mom.
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Just to add to vstefans, get at least 10 death certificates.

Almost every institution (bank, insurance, etc.) that you will be dealing with will require an ORIGINAL of the death certificate to be sent (and doesn't get returned) in order to pay OR in order to cease collection on a debt.. So think about how many you'll need and add 3 to that number. Good luck and stay positive.
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I'm sorry for the crisis you are facing, having just been through it myself! You have my prayers for you and Mom..

You may have gathered all the Important Papers already, but if not, or if Mom did not prepare any, try to find out from Mom or from any papers you might be able to find some of her wishes for care and for the funeral.

What you do is make sure you get death certificates as you will need to send these in with claim forms. You call Social Security and any pensions to report the death. They will be very kind and offer their condolences and tell you about when payments are stopped, if any might need recouped, etc. You can call the insurance company on the policy and they will also generally be helpful and send you forms and give you some instruction also. If you are executor, read any instructions there might be to you from the Will, have copies ready for banks so you can wrap up bills, reimbursements she may be due, etc. with her account. If you can get online access for her account it will be a huge help; technically you shoudl not do that unless you are POA. However, POA ends at death and then you have to be Executor and/or Trustee if assets are in a trust. You can find a lot of information by Googling "what to do when someone dies." Sometimes there is a lot, sometimes not so much if there has been a lot of pre-planning. It can be very overhwelming and yet at times it is awfully good to have something tangible to do - somehow it makes you feel better, whether its a distraction from the full force of grief or just lets you feel useful and not quite as helpless...

hugs
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