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I wanted to correct a previous post of mine on this thread regarding gift taxes on amounts in excess of $14,000. At the time I only had part of the information about how the gift tax works. Actually, you are required to declare gifts in excess of $14k to each individual in any given tax year. But there is no gift tax owed on it. As of 2016, each individual can gift up to $5.45 million over their lifetime. So that's $10.9 million per couple that can be gifted tax-free during their lifetime. You just have to account for any gifts over $14k per individual on your tax return each year. If one spouse dies the other spouse can use their $5.45 million exclusion ONLY if they elect "portability" of the gift tax exclusion on the deceased spouse's estate tax return. If the living spouse fails to make that election, they lose the deceased spouse's exclusion and are subject to gift tax once they exceed accumulated gifts in excess of $5.45 million. Most of us don't have to worry about exceeding that amount, much less the combined $10.9 million amount, but if you have a high net worth it's something to keep in mind. So please disregard the info I stated previously about possible gift taxes being owed on amounts gifted to individuals. It only comes into play once you exceed the exclusion amount. My apologies for the error and any confusion caused.
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I was told by a bank that I was a pod on some accounts that my mother owned , my dad was the signer, but my parents had a revocable trust. The bank had me wait over a week and then turned around and said that my parents set up the accounts that way and I would not get anything. I think they called my dad and gave him time to sign that he was joint owner, then why did they tell me I was POA beneficiary. My dad hates me and is probably going to be taking my name off of everything now so just because they have a trust I get nothing. I took care of my mother for many many years and gave up my whole life for her and I get absolutely nothing, because as i said I am almost positive that my father only put my name down on stuff to make it look good while my mother was alive and now i am going to be totally disinherited because 2 days after my mother passed he kicked me out , hasn't talk to me, if I go there he tells me get away and never come back to the house again. He pulled some real fast ones to make sure that I did not receive anything. So what is the purpose of putting my name on stuff when my father gets everything even money my mother inherited from my aunt that my father claimed was his because he told my mom it was marital property and literally made my mother leave everything to him.
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Tammy, if you decide to split the money be aware that you will pay a big tax penalty for the amount over the allowed gifting limit. It would be best to get some advice from a CPA and spread the gifts over several years to avoid such taxes.
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My mother put me as joint on her bank account of 62 thousand, She died and I want to Split the money with my siblings. Can I gift them the money!
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Just as an afterthought...if you decide to share the remaining funds in the joint account you could pay your husband's siblings up to the annual $14k limit each year until their share is fully paid out, thus avoiding the gift tax.
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My sister did the same thing as soon as my dad passed away. She got her name on my mom's checking account as the joint owner of the account. She used fear tactics to convince my mom that if she were to die we wouldn't have access to her money and wouldn't be able to have a funeral and bury her!! Ludicrous, but it worked and my mom fell for it without discussing it with any of the other siblings. I spoke to the IRS about this and the response was that the money in their joint account becomes my sister's at such time as she spends it if my mom is still living. So say she spends $50k on a car out of this joint account while my mom is still alive, that would be considered a gift of $50k from our mother to her. Any amount exceeding the $14,000 annual limit is fully taxable, so our mother would owe gift tax on $36,000 (probably about $12k or so). Once our mother passes away, it becomes 100% my sister's money and is not part of our mom's estate. It is treated by the IRS at that point as inheritance and is only taxed if it exceeds the $5M or so limit. Let's say there is $500k in that account and all that was left in our mother's estate was her furniture and car. So the Will would direct that the value of the furn and car be split 4 ways. Nothing ÷ 4 = nothing. She would get her 1/4 share of that meager amount, plus all of the $500k in their joint account. At that point, if she found it in her cold, cold heart to split it with her 3 siblings (doubtful), that would be considered a gift from her to each of us, and the gift tax would apply to each of those gifts, leaving her with a tax bill for the applicable percentage of gift tax on each "gift" exceeding $14k . So for each of us 3 other siblings she would owe about $50k in gift tax. Do you think she will pay that out of her own pocket? H*ll no...she will expect us to pay it. So that lowers each of our share of the 4-way split substantially. So even though the Will could direct all assets in the estate to be split evenly among me and my 3 siblings, any POD designations and jointly held assets are not included in the estate. This way she circumvents our parents' intentions to divide everything equally to their four children and gets the bulk of the assets all to herself. I am the only one of the other 3 siblings that seems to have a clue about how all this works. It is so frustrating and if I even speak to my mom about her financial matters I am labeled "greedy". I am the one child she has that really doesn't need the money, but hate to see my sister play us all for the fools some of us TRULY are. Ughhhhh So Ducksfan, keep in mind that if you do divide the money in the joint account there will be tax consequences if each person's share exceeds $14,000.
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Again, thank you for your answer. There was and is never an option, the money will be divided equally amongst the children, that was Mom and Dads wishes. We require nothing more as it was our honor and duty to care for them. We just wanted to make sure we could take care of her final expenses. Splitting the money will do nothing in healing wounds, but it will allow us to walk away with our integrity. :)
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Thanks for answering my questions.

This is a mess and the executors may well not like this at all, but since you and you husband were made full owners of those accounts with right of survivorship, it is all yours.

The bank is not required to create an account called the estate of ___ because now there is not estate with the money now being yours from the joint ownership. Thus, there is nothing for the executors of the will left to execute and your husband and you can legally pay her remaining bills from those accounts that now are yours. You can even still use the checks if they have her name and his name or your name in addition on them. If not the bank will need a copy of the death certificate to order you new checks. They need a copy of the death certificate anyway to process the taking of her name off of the accounts and leaving the accounts in ya'lls names.

Now for the messy part.

Legally, because of the joint ownership with right of survivorship, it is now yours. It all depends on how you want to handle this and how you want your relationships with the rest of the family to go.

1. Just keep it as it is and there will be a lot of hurt feelings, threats of law suits which have no basis in fact but could drag out and be expensive.

2. Be very gracious and divide the remaining money equally among the siblings. That would likely keep relationships healthier and on an even kneel. It may be painful or difficult to do since you two have done the caregiving because you lived near, but it is up to you to choose if you want to take the gracious high road or want to take purely the legal road. I can see where this would possibly be a very difficult choice to make.

These are the only two choices that I see that you have. It sounds like you are leaning toward the more gracious choice in resolving this. In the long run, that should work better for everyone.

I wish you the best with whichever choice you chose.
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Thanks for your answer. My husband is not listed as one of the executors on her will, he is the youngest of 5 children but it has been he and I who have always lived near and cared for his elderly parents. Yes, we are fully on her checking and savings with right of survivorship. There are no properties nor other assets to be distributed. We have made each of the children aware that we will uphold Dad and Mom's wishes and once the bills are paid 9there are only three) we will distribute the remaining money evenly amongst the five children. Nobody gets more or less. Yes there was a will but as there are no assets other than above said checking account we were concerned she could "take" control and not only leave bills unpaid or in our name (we were her caregivers and bills came to us) but take all of the money. The other two executors would not agree with her and believe as my husband does that we need to pay bills. There are no tax issues.
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Thanks for the clarification! I can see why there is a brewing battle over the remaining money in the accounts.

This is a lot of turmoil to be taking place only one week after the funeral! My goodness people need to be given room and space to grieve and really need to be more patient with the process of closing all of this out. I'm sorry that you two are experiencing so much drama right on top of this loss.
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I'm sorry to hear that your mother passed away last week. I lost my mom in October of 2013 and was the executor of her estate. That one sister sounds mean and possibly greedy to be threatening to sue.

I gather that your husband is one of the three oldest children who are the executors for the POA ended with her death? Is he one of the 3 executors of the estate?

Were your husband and you placed on her checking and savings as co-owners with right of survivorship or just authorized to access the money?

If you two were not made co-owners with right of survivorship, then the bank must create an account called the estate of ___ in which all of the money from the savings and checking account would go into from which the final bills would be paid by one of the executors of the will. All those bills must be paid before anyone gets any money.

If you and your husband were made co-owners with right of survivorship on her checking and savings account, then it automatically goes to you two which is going to cause some hurt feelings about the other family members. If this is your situation, then things are going to be messy. Is this your situation?

I think it would be wise to see a lawyer for it may take more than 60 days to get the remaining bills paid and her final tax return completed as well as paid if a final tax return is needed to be done. No money can be disbursed until all remaining bills are paid by the funds in the estate. That is the law.

I assume there is a will and someone has it in their possession. Does the will say anything about the disbursement of the money left in the estate?

Before making me her POA, my mother made me co-owner with right of survivorship of all of her personal accounts which included savings, checking, money market and CDs. Thus, when she died all of that money came immediately to me and I paid her final bills and tax return from those monies. My step-dad was aware of this and never complained, well he never complained to me about it anyway. A vast majority of her personal accounts came from money that she had inherited from her mother back in 1996 plus the sale of some of the land that she inherited which sold for some very good prices at the time.

My main questions are

1. Is your husband one of the 3 executors?

2. Were you and your husband joint owners with right of survivorship of those accounts?
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Let me add. There is no "estate" my husband (her son) had to sell the home and cars to pay for her care. The contents of the home and shop were taken by the children who wanted them. So the only thing left is the Checking and Savings account.
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Oregon is the State we are in.... In 1999 my in laws made a will and put the three oldest children (not in state) as executors. Seven years later dad passed away and 2.5 years ago Moms health started failing. She placed her son and I (his wife) on her checking and savings account with full rights to account, the only moneys deposited were hers. Nobody cared as I was her full time care giver (6 days a week) 13 months ago she was diagnosed with late stage dementia and was placed in a assisted living home. My husband who also had DPOA had to sell her home and vehicles and used the money for her care. She passed away last week and all of a sudden we are getting threats that we have to split the money left in her account. We fully intend to uphold what we believe are Dad and Moms wishes in dividing the money equally but only after all the bills are paid, we asked the family for 60 days and offered a full accounting of what she has in there.. One sister is threatening to sue us (she is one of the executors) Is her threat baseless?
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Debralee,
Seems there are lots of those !
I have a relative like that too.
She's got a personality disorder that makes relating tough.
Has some somewhat different ideas of how things should be.
...And always courts relatives who might be able to give money, leave bequest or sign over their used car....seriously. She's approached multiple relatives to ask for her inheritance now, instead of later.

BUT...she is a special case. Needs help. Has been disabled enough long enough, lots have helped her out over time.
AND, if there is a specific sum a relative plans to leave an heir,
WHY NOT allow them use of it now, instead of later when you cannot see what a relief that help is while you are still breathing?..it literally can make life or death .sometimes

...OTH, if that person cannot care for their finances carefully for their circumstances, then a will that prevents that person accessing those funds until as late as possible.

It CAN BE a problem, because people can view it only from one side, not understanding other perspectives and situations, unless they open up a larger picture.
While a Relative doing these kinds of behaviors, may not be an easy person to deal with, maybe it is also important to keep in mind, what else might be involved, and weigh all the data, before choosing how to handle the beggar...
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Pretty sure that will get messy!
Most believe that if estate is left to spouse, the spouse or Estate Manager, will have high enough ethics to be fair and not greedy.
Not always the case.
IF there are family "heirlooms" Dad brought to the new marriage, those should get returned to his kids.
IF it's money or other liquid assets, that he had before entering the subsequent marriage, those ethically should go to his previous family--but not necessarily written in stone.
His surviving spouse, if given everything upon his death, it's hers, effectively
--even if it was really about Dad forfeiting responsibility, not wanting to make those deicisions, bagging out on that and leaving it to his wife to figure out.
Does he hate the kids from the previous marriage so bad, he would intentionally arrange things to omit them?
Seeing if he can get vicarious post-mortem glee at dumping that doneybrook in family's lap?
That kind of conflict, sets the kids all up for a greed/spite driven vendeta at worst. How much is in the estate, determines only how long the fight can go on.
Sure hope it gets settled while the folks still have a chance to form a more clear and ethically worded will.
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I would like to add that my stepsister already called my mother to ask for an advance on her inheritence. My mother is still alive!
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In my situation, I'm my mother's only child, but my step-father has three children. Her will leaves everything she owns, inherited and was given to me. My step-father's will leaves everything to my mother, but if she dies before him, then his stuff is dived up between his children. His children are very concerned that they might not inherit anything if their dad dies first. I am sure things will get messy not matter who dies first.
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LOL! keyboard is jumping tonite--that was "..bills get PAID", not "aid"...
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It is a shame that half- and step children often get short-shrift.
Then it can get even comical to hear the "whole" children carry on about how they cannot understand why those half/steps choose to distance themselves.
I have heard "You must have grown up in a different house"
....to which I replied "I certainly did!!!"
Wills, Living wills, etc. documents, usually stipulate who gets what.
But 1st off, the bills accrued by the elder need to get aid, if there is money to do it.
Anything left after debts are paid, gets divided among those named, or if no will, between family members, perhaps decided by a judge.
If there is any question about how things need to be handled, it is wise to get legal counsel, documentation, etc. to remove later doubts.
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If you have a joint account then it is entirely yours when the other person dies. You can do with it as you please -- it is yours. You can honor your mother's wishes.
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My mother's will has me, my two sisters and stepsister as heirs. I am the executor. I am also joint on her checking account and her safe deposit box that has cash in it. She wants me to use the joint account to pay her debts and then get reinbursed from the estate for the cost of those debts and put back into checking account. Then take the money from the joint checking account and safe deposit box and divide just with me and my two sisters. The joint account and joint safe deposit box go directly to me on her death. The amounts would not be subject to inheritence tax or gift tax. I would like to honor her wishes, but not sure if there is any legal ramifications when it comes to my stepsister on these accounts.
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Unfortunately, some parents think one child or another can do no wrong
--they also keep saying stuff flike "I treat all of you equally" when they clearly do not.
It is very unfortunate.
It can definitely destroy family realationships, in ways that cannot be mended.

You, being the joint holder, are in a position of "power" , which you may choose to use or not.
IF the accounts have you as joint holder, because that constitutes your portion of an estate to which other relatives get an equal portion, that is one thing.

But if the money is gradually all used up, and you get left with nothing but bills, while the other inherit the rest of the estate, you end up shafted.

Bottom line is, estates of others were never ours to start with.
It is UNbelievable what relatives will do to each other over them.
Too many are left the worse for the wear.
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madge & cmagnum, yes being an "only" eliminates many of those problems, but it also means you are the sole responsible person when it comes to care and difficult decisions - a blessing & a curse. Thank god, I have a supportive husband & kids who help with these things!
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desert192, excellent answer!
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Your answers are knowledge based and give me insight into client issues they have often been able to share with mr. Our clients who are unsure of financial issues with these type issues are not sure how to proceed. Please refer me to how to refer others to your resources should they have similar problems. This is the best approach and makes sense. Best regards, Linda Smith
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I would think that it depends-on how the account was set up in the beginning, how the legal signatures are noted on the cd, how the legal documents will define if you get the cd cash out, etc. should something happen to your mom. I recommend you speak with a legal representative who can give you the correct answers to your questions. My brother would have been in a similar situation with the home he has lived in all of his life, with my mother, when she had a change in condition recently. Upon advocating for my brother and my mother, my mother several years ago got a change in her ownership deed to her home, placing herself and my brother as joint tenents on the deed. This is just one way she took care of ensuring my brother had a home after she was recently placed in a health care long term facility. She also has a power of attorney for both health and finanical decisions. There are little things we cannot reasonably understand that a legal represtative can help us interpret what is the best in this situation. Good luck-hope things work best for you and your mom-Linda
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All joint bank accounts are considered 50% owned by each joint holder.Upon death of 1st account holder the remaining account holder is considered the owner of all funds. Unless there is a POD designation.
Since the account is a joint account (and not held in the name of a trust) the POD (Pay On Death) designation - beneficiary - should have been done when account was opened. If not, can be done at any time as long as account holders are competent.
With no POD joint owner is assumed to own all monies at death of 1st joint account holder.
You can also have multiple beneficiaries - i.e. 1/2 to estate of Mom and 1/2 to remaining account holder - then the part going to estate would be governed by Mom's will. Otherwise, bank accounts POD designation (or lack of) will govern who gets monies in that account. And overrides any designation in her will.
Good time to review all bank, investment, life insurance, etc. to make any needed updates and be sure beneficiaries are what Mom intends.
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cdeh61, the problem is when there are other children and the joint holder is not into sharing. My mother has a good bit of money and I hope my brother is honest, he always seems to be. But who wants to "hope" their siblings will share. You parents making a trust is the smart thing to do. you are lucky. :)
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cdeh61, I'm in a similar situation as an only child with joint accounts as well as securities with my mother with right of survivorship, but not with my step-dad who does have a joint account with my mother, and other accounts all on his own. Her will leaves everything she owns, has bought, has inherited and has been given to me. His will splits everything with her and his 3 children, but nothing to me.
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This can actually be a way of avoiding probate in estate planning. My parents just went thru the process of setting up a family trust. My mother did not want to do this, my dad did. After 69 years of marriage, she didn't want to "co-mingle" her money and his!! So the attorney told her if the accounts were joint with me (I'm an only child.) the money would go directly to me upon her death, no probate or anything!
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