Titling of bank accounts and stocks and/or funding a trust.

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In reading recent posts, i've identified a very sore spot that my Mom (age 87, widowed) has with her Trust. i'm afraid the Trust is not funded properly, if funded at all. Is there a source or reference to find out how bank accounts, stocks, savings bonds, etc should be Titled? She insists on keeping her accounts titled with herself and me as "jt owners with rights of survivorship" - and there are 2 other siblings. The accounts aren't titled in the name of the trust, with her as the Trustee. i presume that the titling of the assets is how a Trust becomes "funded"? The Trust specifies percentages, but the bank accounts are "jt w/rights of survivalship and names my siblings as beneficiaries. Isn't that a conflict ... and if i am not successful in making it clear to Mom, would i need to pay the tax on the full amount, and then go by A) the benefiary amounts, or B) the Trust percentages? Does one overrule the other? It's been 'jt' for many years because she wanted/needed me to do her banking for her as a convenience. i'm disabled [single, no children] and live with Mom, but does the titling need to be corrected with each institution, or am i mistaken? There are stocks to be considered/protected as well. She won't consider change the titling, thinking the government will take her money or the control of it, away from her]. We've spent over $5,000 meeting with her attorney and he just complicates things more. She wants to ensure i can stay in the family house (i'm disabled, single, no kids, and SSDI as my only source of income). In the Trust, i'd be responsible for any and all expenses for the house [maintenance/ taxes/ insurance etc, and the car] and of course my own medical/ RX expenses. i've been designed with POA for financial and medical as well as HIPPA. Sadly, my siblings aren't ones i can consult on any issue. i'm 1st executor with one sister being the alternative. i'm Caregiver for Mom: she's had cornea transplants, 4 strokes, and recently suffered a horrific fall at home. She's rather bedridden, could i legally make do the retitling - with her verbal approval and the DPOA/Financial? i'd never do anything of this nature without her knowledge, but if the titling is wrong, it needs to be corrected. Thank you everyone, for any guidance you can offer. Kindest regards ~ crickett33.

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Also, I have my own furnishings which have been in storage for years. I am FINALLY giving everything to either the church or the Shelter. I would rather have HIM BACK than anything he could leave me.

While he was on hospice and dying, we had a break into our storage area. (we had a fire a year and one half ago and it all had to go to storage) The thieves took my checks and started writing checks in town. They were arrested. They took other things from my storage, but we are not sure what it was. They finally got arrested in California also. I could do nothing as I was caring for my Love who was dying. She was so stupid. She put her own account number on the back of the check (where she signed MY name). SAME TOWN. It is grand theft and she will go to prison. She needs to. But her husband was the one who cut the locks. He just got out of San Quentin. Nice! My mind was somewhere else and I did not care anymore. I never told him what was going on as he would not have understood with all the drugs he was getting.

I asked God to please don't test me with anything else. I got my money back and my bank has been outstanding in helping me with this. SO, I had to empty the storage area. OMG, the boxes and boxes of things I had to go through and give away. Thank God my Love's Memorial is not until the end of October. (we have family coming from Germany) I asked the Sheriff if I could have five minutes with her and no cameras. I wanted to slap her so hard that she would be black and blue. But can't do that. So, I just asked God to punish her for giving me this issue while he was dying. I guess I will go with God.
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Wow Malloryg that sounds good for me. I don't know. I will let you know after I see the attorney. The accts at the bank...No problem, we were joint owners. I am talking about the annunities, retirement accts,,,things like that. I am the beneficiary but in the TRUST it states that two of the children get % of WHATEVER. I am not sure. There is nothing else that does not show me as the beneficiary. So, I have to have the attorney clarify for me that I can call the annunities MINE. If not, does the trust stating % make me have to share them? It is confusing to me. I think he thought while signing me up as beneficiary that the percentages were a MUTE point. He gave me all the furnishings, car, house and investments. What is there that I would have to share? That is my question of the attorney. I know that others will need to have this answer also. So, Thursday night I will post my attorney's answer. If you specifically have a question...Give it to me and I will ask him when I see him. He will think it is my question. I am paying him so no problem with me asking a specific question. One or two anyway. God Bless
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I'm curious about the detail where the Trust would change the percentages of a JTOWROS bank account, contingent beneficiaries? Maybe I am misunderstanding the specific situation....but my parents had me as JTOWROS on their everyday checking account, and their Trust did not change that, when I went to the bank-- the tiny amount left in the JTOWROS account is now my sole owner account. Several people including my lawyer (elder specialist ) said that a Trust does not affect beneficiary designations, or JTOWROS. In fact there is a small insurance policy they left to their church. A Trust only covers everything that is not titled otherwise.
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I am reading your question and I have the same issues. My Partner put me on the Title of the Home about three years ago. Actually, he put it into my Trust. Then the car. Same thing. So, they both belong to me. I assume there will be taxes I need to pay because it was done PRIOR to his passing.

The Will on the other hand, is a pour over Will. I am meeting with an attorney on Thursday next week and will report back what I find out. My issue is that everything he owned in Investments - he made me the beneficiary. Bank accounts were all in both our names. My issue is that in the trust it talks about percentages, but all financial accounts had my name as beneficiary. QUESTION for attorney - Do I have to share the Investment money with the TWO people mentioned as percentages? I believe the most restrictive rule will apply and I will need to give them their portion. That is fine with me. BUT, I am not doing it out of good will as I had no help whatsoever with them while he was alive. They (son and Step-daughter) never came to see him before he died. They had TWO months and lived 7 hours away. Never came no matter how many times I called them to come. So you can see why I am fighting bitterness toward them. But, I will do what the law requires me to do. The second son was totally left out of the WILL and the TRUST. Specific wording was used to exclude him. There was also an extra 10% given to the person who carried out the Trust. So in my case, I have 60% plus 10%. The attorney will figure it out and I will do what I have to do. I WILL REPORT BACK here as to the outcome. It may help some of you in the decisions you have to make or have already made. Thanks and God Bless
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Bless your heart for going back through the articles and dusting off my query ~ thank you all for your input and guidance. The home is in a Quit Claim status. The Trust designates the home to me. The principal IRA funds are in the accounting firm [associated with the atty] - and separately, [not part of the Trust [per the aty] but those funds are to be 100% left to me [actually, to the house, so that the maintenance, insurance, utility bills, snow or lawn service, can be paid for, etc.,]. There's a caveat that the Trust nor any other funds are to be for my health care. [Too bad the roof isn't made of gingerbread and the trees made of broccoli - at least i'd have food. RX is questionable though]. i learned from the bank in that if an account is JTWROS - the contingent beneficiaries must be 50/50 or evenly split [for contingents, it would be 1/3, 1/3, 1/3, e.g.] Only a Trust, properly filed with the bank, would enable the bank to change the percentages. Me/the house at 75 - which breaks out to be 36.5 for me, 37.5 for the house; one sib 15% and the other at 10%. Upon my demise, one sib is 80% and the other 20%. i'm required to keep accurate accounting/receipts, etc. Mom has not told me what she wants done with her brokerage account [called Trust Holdings - and yet the aty told me the trust isn't funded [?] . Seems to me that would be an obvious initial source for funding - and it is managed by his office. Other holdings are DRIPS - one from my father which now has both our names on it, and one i have of my own. The face page of the Trust reads " Revocable Trust for Mom and Crickett dated..." It feels as though i am already locked out of independent movement regarding my own state of affairs, or lack thereof. If i need to downsize housing, the Trust forbids the proceeds of the family home from paying for a new place for me.

Two different banks have told me that i can, through the use of the DPOA, put her bank accounts into the name of the trust titled in the usual fashion for trusts, with Mom and me as trustees [per the titling of the trust]. That would negate the mandatory even split of contingent beneficiaries and then the percentages stated in the Trust would prevail.

i know i need long term health care arrangements: it's a distance family, lack of heart strings is further than the miles that separate us. i have to hire a service to babysit me while i undergo outpatient procedures requiring anesthesia [state law requires someone to be on site during the procedure, so i can't even take a taxicab].

i really am at a loss on making a decision regarding her stocks and savings bonds. It's not my decision, but her not communicating is going to make it my decision - and i don't want it to be too late to be done without her full understanding. Mom needs a shoulder replacement from that traumatic fall, and her home care team, who've been coming since Dec 2014 to prepare her for her surgery [she keeps falling - and her memory is really getting worse]. i've spent more money in 6 months for mobility aids, hygiene, you name it: she's over $800 in arrears in what she owes me: she doesn't dispute it, she just keeps saying, "remind me tomorrow." Tomorrow doesn't seem to come.

i do the laundry, errands, banking, grocery shopping, house cleaning, lawn care [electric lawn mower] all in leg braces, and 59 meds a day. We had a basement flood in the winter [city's water main backed up into our basement - 4" of water] and still the remediators/renovation team is not finished. Half of the basement items are upstairs and the clutter is driving me batty. i cook for Mom - which i don't mind, dress her, you name it. 24/7. i got my first break a few days ago to go grocery shopping to get 4 cases of Ensure. Amazon and ParentGiver are my new best friends.

Her at did tell me to make Mom's trust the beneficiary of my DRIP. Upon my death, it would automatically be transferred to the named individual/s on the transfer form. i've not done that yet. i really need my Mom to tell me what HER choices are. But if she's not interested in doing that, or storms off downstairs to avoid the conversation and tells me she hates me, what am i to do? Her visiting nurse is quite concerned about the change in her mental status. She couldn't name the year, date, president..... and she 'ruminates' (repeats herself and really has a short term memory). When i ask her to please let me shampoo her hair, she throws things at me, or says really mean things. And this is my best friend, cconfidante, world travel partner and gosh she's been with me throughout all my surgeries. And i've been with her through all of hers. i try to encourage her and even try to do the PT's exercises with her, but she tells me to 'back off' and 'move away.'

Is it best to go to an independent Elder Attorney to settle up things for Mom, and then separately, for myself? i have one sis who is willing to "do the work" of burying me [i've bought my plot] and will probably do the POA/Med. i'm not sure, for POA/Financial - but that's the only way she'd be able to settle up things for the home.

i'd love to have my Mom back ... even for a day, a week, a month .... or even peek through the clouds to ask Dad what to do. My younger brother died 3 years ago, and my sister 18 years ago. i've had so many cancer biopsies and preventative surgeries in different areas that i've made peace the gene is lurking somewhere.

i still need to complete Mom's and my taxes for 2014 [papers were in the cabinet in the basement when the flood came in through the city's storm drains - and i need to get her bathroom remodeled for the grab bars/handicap use so she's safe and water doesn't aim directly at her face. Why does she get so angry at me ~ she shoved me into a bathroom door mirror, which caused it to fall and crack into thousands of bits of glistening 'tears' all over the floor. i was only trying to help her with her shower. Her left shoulder is literally ripped out of it's socket. She NEEDS to have her wing back ~ truly she does. She can't continue in this new false comfort zone of safety like standing up while putting on shoes ~ she falls. Yet when i ask her to dust the table, she says she can't because of her arm. i am at a loss. i guess she complains to my one sis, because she tells me to stop telling Mom what to do. She is not physically able to put on a pullover shirt - nor raise her arm above 45 degrees, with the elbow bent. 4 teeth broke off, and she's now got upper dentures, but refuses to try to get them out to brush or soak them at night as instructed by the DDS. i bought her a cute 'tooth spa" too. She's supposed to gargle in salt water because of sores from the denture, but refuses. Argh ... would this be any easier to handle if the flood didn't happen, the shower didn't need a cut out to repair the faucet so that it could be remodeled, or that the tile in the basement was sealed as it should have been - instead of having to have it done after most things have been moved back down [in boxes stacked to the ceiling].

Thank you for listening ...and for your advise! Oh how i wish i had friends but i've been disabled for so long, no one wants to spend time with someone who can't function [severe pain, leg braces, TENS unit, neck braces, tremors, double vision, migraines, dystonia, fibromyalgia, 4 other spinal cord conditions /diseases, epidurals etc]. Mom's surgery will be around the corner, after my MRI and her 2nd pre-surgical clearance tests. Oh, and there's her condo in FL that needs to be cleared out and sold, before the end of the year. And there's no one to take care of Mom if i had to go myself - and i can't go myself because i have to wean off many of the meds in order to drive the distance.

Oh my, i think it's a day to look for the March Hair ~ perhaps there's a rabbit hole looking for someone like me, to invite to a tea party. Sounds lovely under the circumstances. i'll blame it on another sleepless night. Blessings to each ~ so very sorry for what must be a free-verse ramble. But i truly am scared, and grateful for your guidance!
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One thing I do know, the DPOA cannot change beneficiary designations, and that is different than re-titling a home or account. But the gist of it is, the home owner or account owner has to initiate any such changes. The DPOA cannot make ownership, or inheritance/beneficiary changes. I am not a lawyer -- just sharing what I know from personal & family/friends. But I do have lawyers in family /friends.
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You're correct that funding a trust requires retitling of the assets.

Was the house retitled from your mother's name to the title of the trust? In my experience preparation of the deed effecting this transfer is typically done by the attorney who prepared the trust documentation.

Generally the wording is something to the effect of "The Crickett's mother (insert name, obviously) Revocable Living Trust dated (month, date and year)". The Deed would also have wording to the effect of Crickett's mother, Settlor of the Crickett's Mother Trust dated (same as above), and any Successor Trustee."

It's been years but that's my recollection; I can doublecheck tomorrow.

There should also have been a Bill of Sale prepared by the attorney transferring miscellaneous items into the trust.

You may have problems getting insurance on the house if it hasn't already been transferred. I couldn't get an insurer to insure a trust, so eventually we had to accept that the co-trustees (of which I was one) were the named insureds.

Assets not titled in the name of the trust are obviously not subject to it, but if your mother has IRAs, you'll really need to get some legal advice as there are tax consequences to subjecting IRAs to the compressed trust tax rates. This is a complicated issue so I won't try to represent that I understand it all.

As to the issues you asked:

", would i need to pay the tax on the full amount, and then go by A) the benefiary amounts, or B) the Trust percentages? "

I'm not really sure I understand what you mean by full amount, as different assets could be taxed differently. In addition, are you the only beneficiary or are the other 2 siblings beneficiaries as well?

It's my understanding that mutuals and stocks are subject to a step up value on date of death, but since your father has already passed, I honestly don't know enough on that aspect to offer any reliable explanations, other than the individual(s) who inherit stocks inherit at the FMV on date of death, rather than on the trustee's basis.

I write this with a qualification: that was my understanding when my father's trust was prepared over a decade ago; although I keep up to date through legal articles published by our attorney, I haven't reviewed any legislation to determine that this is still the case.

The marital trust issues are also ones with which I'm not familiar; they weren't a consideration when my father's trust was prepared.

As to retitling assets in the name of the trust pursuant to authority granted you in a DPOA, I can't answer that question either. I've never experienced it and really don't know and wouldn't want to offer a guess or wrong advice.

It's unfortunate that you haven't found a good and reasonable attorney. Although it's been some years since my father's trust documents were prepared, we had a top notch attorney and the cost was less than half of what you've paid. You might want to look around.

If the area in which you live has an AAA, check with them to find out if they have annual "Caregiver Expos". There are usually 4 local elder law firms at these expos in my area, and some of them give out "coupons" for a free hour of consultation. Get 4 coupons, get 4 free hours worth of legal advice!

Not sure if I adequately answered those questions that I can, so post again if you have further questions.
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I'm so surprised no one has offered any answer to this question -- have you found any resolution to your questions, crickett? In my situation my mom has a Trust and a Will, but there are some small accounts same as your situation, joint owner with survivorship, (with me, her main caregiver) and of course the sibs are jealous. I have no idea what will happen when she dies, probably a big fight will break out and lawyer bills will eat it all up. In your situation, it sounds like you need a different lawyer--find one who has Elder Law experience in not just Wills and Trusts but taxes, Medicaid, SSDI, and who works closely with a tax accountant. Can you ask around at your church/temple or neighbors for a recommendation? Hope you have already gotten some help with this.
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