Bank won’t release MILs money to executor. Is this legal and correct?

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Hi all, so my husband is the executor of my MILs estate and he is beginning to gather everything up and find out what all is out there. She had 3 accounts at a credit union-a savings account with my SIL as a co-owner (no money in it came from SIL or was intended solely for her), and a savings and a checking account in MILs name only. My husband had intended to consolidate all 3 accounts but he was told he cannot touch the account his sister's name is on, that it belongs to her now, and that’s fine, she will go down and close the account & give the money to my husband. Now my question is—the credit union allowed my husband to consolidate the personal checking and savings account but he cannot withdraw the money & close the account, they said it’s because unbeknownst to anyone, my MIL had specified all 3 of her children as beneficiaries so all 3 have to go down there together and the bank will cut them each a check. They said they don’t go by what the trust agreement says. Is this legal and correct? He is going to call the attorney on Monday but I was just wondering if anyone knows if the bank is correct? It’s not really a problem that the bank will only cut all 3 a check. It just throws us a curve ball because the money from the estate is supposed to pay for the headstone, MILs person tax return and the trust’s tax return. All expenses were going to be paid before money was dispersed to the kids. So I’m not sure how we are supposed to do that now. We certainly are not going to use our money to pay for these expenses! My husband seems to think the credit union is wrong and should be releasing the 2 accounts to him.


Also is there any way to figure out if anyone cashed in on any life insurance policies in MILs name? Her partner is acting very shady, when the trust was created in March, him & MIL told my husband that there were a couple insurance policies they hadn’t told anyone about. About a month ago, her partner mentioned that all her money would be gone by the time she died and that all the money her kids get would come from the insurance policies. Well.....there don’t appear to be any insurance policies! We found a document for a small employer-provided policy she had when she was still working and it was terminated when she retired but she had the option to convert it, but there is nothing to suggest she actually did that. We will call MetLife on Monday to see if the policy was converted. There are no other insurance documents in her files. Yet he still says there should be a $20k insurance policy. Tonight we had to go over and pick up the deed to the house and her partner said a lot of things that contradicted what he had told me in the past. I’m not sure what he said to my husband a few weeks ago but he asked something about insurance and fires and then tonight he was saying he’s going to try to increase the amount of insurance on the house, I wasn’t paying attention much to what all he said but my husband says his spidey senses are going off and he thinks he’s going to burn the house down for the insurance money!! He also made statements about him and MIL having insurance policies on each other at one time and that she had originally wanted him to get half her retirement if she died first and he’s claiming that very recently she paid him half the value of the car she gave us since he helped pay for it....yet a week before mother’s day he was complaining to me that she wasn’t leaving him anything and didn’t want him touching her money! I knew she should have had more then $12,000 in the bank. I suspect since he handled the finances, he transferred money from her personal accounts to their joint account shortly before or shortly after she passed. She would have never known he did this. He also claimed that they had cashed in every they had 2 years ago and gotten $6k which was used to pay off the house. He was saying all sorts of things about how she wanted him to have everything and that just doesn’t jive. She should have never left things to him over her kids. Her kids always came first. I mean She wouldn’t even give him half the house when she died even though it was half his! (His name was never on the deed though). Instead of selling it when she died and giving him half and the other half going to her kids, she insisted he get a life estate and then the house be sold and the proceeds go to her 3 and his 2 kids. Anyway....I suspect he reached into her personal accounts and may be filing a life insurance claim or 2 but I have no idea how to find out for sure.

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Adding for documentational purposes since I will be revisiting all my posts & writif down the dates he made certain statements—

On Saturday the 9th when we picked up the deed to the house, he made a statement to my husband that were was a large medical bill he had to pay and that all MILs money had gone toward medical expenses. And then like I said above, when my husband called to get the bill and the bills already paid, he was told that she had no medical bills, insurance took care of it all!

I am a bit disappointed that when told of this, my SIL said it’s too soon and to give him the benefit of the doubt for now and that she doesn’t think he’s trying to rip anyone off but she does think he’s looking for ways to get money. He’s got her fooled. It’s really not about the money, it’s the suspicious behavior and the lies and getting rid of her stuff when he had no right to.
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My husband is going to do some digging & see what he can find out and piece together.

He’s already gotten rid of most of MILs stuff! That’s another issue. He had NO right, not morally and not legally, to get rid of her stuff! Her trust says he can stay in the house the remainder of his life and he cannot bring in a non-blood relative, and that he is responsible for all expenses and can have all household items. Her personal belongings were left to the kids and the executor is in charge of distribution. Well this guy has been getting rid of her stuff for weeks now and almost everything is gone! My husband is not happy about that and he wanted to tell him to stop it right now but he talked to his sister day and it sounds like he’s already rid of almost everything. My SIL was upset that when she went to pick out the dress MIL was to be buried in, she discovered he had donated most of her clothes! This was like 2 days after MIL passed! But she also sympathizes with him and knows that he deals with things by getting rid of stuff. But that still doesn’t make it ok! It may have been junk to him or stuff he didn’t want, but somebody else might have wanted it! I think since my husband doesn’t have the support of his sister, he is going to let this go. I know something came up over MILs mobility scooter, she used it one. Her partner claims he paid for it. He sold it before she died or says he did, for $1000 and my husband thought it should go to the trust. But SIL brought up that he was her primary caregiver and changed her diaper. I’ll give him that but he wasn’t the best caregiver and there were signs of neglect showing not long after she was confined to the hospital bed and that is why the home health aid started coming 3x a week and the nurse coming 2x a week. I know it was a hard job and he did take care of her but he is no saint, he let her suffer. But anyway my point is, most of her stuff is gone and we were not given the chance to go through it first and take what we wanted. He did give all of us a few things here or there and say she wanted us to have them but we know she didn’t. I think my SIL ended up with the most Out of all 3 kids.

MIL has been gone 10 days now. Or is it 11? And he’s cleaned out the whole house and gotten rid of everything already :(
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One thing I think I would do is notify the 3 credit bureaus of her death and ensure that he doesn't use any credit cards she might have had.

I wonder if you'll ever really know how much he might have pilfered from her accounts. I suspect he was adept at covering his tracks. But since your DH is a detective, you and he might want to have some discussions about what you really can do, can find out, and what to do to stop him from any further financial abuse.

As I recall he could live in the house after she passed? Do you have her possessions out of there yet? I know it's only been a short time though.

It's really challenging when complications like this follow the loss of a loved one. That's difficult enough w/o having to worry about someone's misuse of assets.
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I meant to say that when she passed away, her checking account had only $6k. If there really were no medical bills, she should have had at least $8k alone which were March and April’s income. She was very frugal and her only other expense besides the plot, was her tax bill. She should have had more than a total of $12k in her 2 personal accounts since she had been basically home bound since thanksgiving. The money she spent on Christmas presents came from the account with my husbands name on it, every year she pulled a $1000 out for Christmas shopping.
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Thank you shad and garden!
My husband spoke with our accountant this morning and the money from the accounts in his name and my SILs name is not going to be taxed. I don’t know about her personal accounts. A call to MetLife shows she did not covert her employer-provided life insurance when she retired. Her partner as of Saturday still says she had a few policies for the kids.

Things have taken a serious turn now, with her partner. I will probably document this here as it plays out. Something shocking just happened. I have made no secret of the fact that I don’t trust her partner one bit. He has told a lot of lies. He had told me he made $70k over a 2 year span when he worked as a courier and got paid under the table. I think this was 2014-2016. Maybe 2013-2015. He claims, and still claims, it all went towards paying off the house. Anyway! On Saturday night we went over to the house to get the new grant deed and he told my husband he made $90k under the table when he was a courier. That’s $20k more than he had told me in the past. During the conversation, in which he rambled and seemed to be covering tracks, he said that most of MILs money had gone to her medical bills. I was immediately suspicious because he had told me many times that her insurance (Medicare and she kept her private insurance after she retired) covered everything. The day she died, he pulled his insulin out of the fridge and proudly announced that it costs $175 but he only paid $4 at Walmart. He always did that kind of thing. So his comment stuck out to me and my spidey senses went off. So today I realized that if she had really had all these medical expenses, my husband should get the receipts so the expenses can be written off when we dinher taxes, she only had an income for 5 months this year so it’s possible there were enough out of pocket expenses that we can write them off. She has no other deductions to write off and had to pay taxes for 2017 when she filed, we are just trying to avoid her owing taxes for 2018. Anyway so my husband just called MILs partner to ask about her medical bills and for copies for tax purposes and her partner said there were no bills! Everything was taken care of by the insurance!!! So Saturday he said she had a lot of medical bills she paid and today he said there were none!! I about fell out of my chair when he said that! More lies! This guy is a very smooth talker let me tell you. He’s good. I am surprised he lied to my husband though. He must not be as smart as I thought! So my husband’s spidey senses are going into over time now and her partner better be prepared. My husband is in law enforcement was a detective for 5 years, some of that was dealing with financial crimes so.....it seems impossible we can prove anything but I do believe he is going to try to gather as much information as he can because clearly this guy is up to no good. He got very nervous when he found out we changed MILs address to our address. He also went on and on about how MIL wanted him to have half of everything but he always told her no, to leave it to her kids. This is a direct contradiction to when he told me sometime in May that she was very angry at him and had been for a long time (I assumed it was because of his IRS fiasco, getting caught working under the table) and she didn’t want him to have anything and she wasn’t leaving him anything. But on Saturday he was going on and on about insurance policies and her PERs and how she wanted him to have half of it. I don’t buy it. I’ve been in this family for almost 20 years and her kids have always always always been her beneficiaries. Always. The one thing people remembered her for when they speak of her now is how dedicated she was to her children. He was nervous the entire time we were there and he also said she recently paid him back the money he put towards her car, the one we were given. I don’t believe him because of the conversation last month where he said she was angry at him and didn’t want him to have anything. There was also an incident where he called me upset and in a panic because supposedly the IRS claimed they never got his $6300 check, that he had mailed a smaller payment to them along with a $6300 payment and they were claiming they never got the bigger check and he needed me to stay with MIL while he went to the bank. I thought, and still do think, that he went to the bank to take MILs money to pay his tax bill. If he put all his money into the mortgage there’s no way he had $6300 saved up. He hasn’t worked in a couple years and he claims when he sold his truck for $20k he turned around and paid it towards MILs new car. But I do think it’s reasonable to assume he took money from her checking account because there was only $6,000 there. Her social security and PERs went to her personal account and she had just gotten paid 2 weeks before she died. Her SS was $1700 and PERs was $2300 I think, maybe a little more. So before she got paid for May, she had $2,000 in the bank. Other than what she paid for her plot on march 3rd, she should have had no expenses! So what happened to March and April’s income? My husband is going to get statements from the bank. If he took the $5k funeral home bill from her account, he had no right to do that. It was supposed to come from the joint account that he know owns. We couldn’t legally enforce that but this were her wishes and legally he was not allowed to take money from her personal accounts! So my husband has to run everything by his siblings later and decide where to go from here.
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Worried, this isn't the first time ShakingDustOff has exploded and argued with other posters. This was the behavior exhibited a few years back; it became so persistent and offensive that posters were actually telling her to leave. Now she's back.
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worriedinCali

You're welcome. Maybe taxing of the funds is different for each state. When closing out my mom's CU account, the lady did mention if I wanted to have federal taxes taken out before she cut the check or I could do it when filing taxes. She also sent the forms to my brother who was out of state. Once she received the documents back, she cut and sent him the check. This is in OH by the way.
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Dusry, Worried lost her MIL about a week ago.

Wrapping up an estate IS part of caregiving and is sanctioned by the admins on this site.

I'm sorry your mother has been ill and that you have no help.

Is "flipping over tables" a reference to your Christ-like behavior?

I see.

I just to make sure everyone else understands what you're referring to.
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I look on the wrapping up phase as being the aftersales service part of caregiving, Dusty.

Worried, I hope this weblink might be helpful? - www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm
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And I am sorry for my outburst! I was out of line. Emotions got the best of me. I just think if you don’t want to answer a question or be helpful, why announce it? It does nothing but make you look like a jerk in my honest opinion! I am so greatful for all the advice, insight and support I have received. I will pay it forward as much as I can.
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