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Mom has died leaving only a checking account that was pay on death to sister. Florida - House sold to pay for care facility with money put into moms checking from which I paid bills as POA. She owed nothing but assisted living fees and medical stuff and had no other assets other than the cash/checking. Amount just under $100,000. We even applied for Medicaid before house sale and kept open for when funds ran out but she passed 5 months after sale of house. The checking account was pay on death to my sister. It has been closed and new account in her name. We did not file any estate as there was nothing to distribute. We were told by other family that we did not have to do anything with probate in this case. My sister is gifting us the portion as mom wanted among each of us (3 children) over time so no taxes incurred. As POA creditors bills for medical and other are coming on to me. What are our legal obligations in Florida in this situation. I am afraid to pay even a small one from my money in case that triggers a flurry of others. I did read I should notify the 3 credit agencies with proof of death. Soc Sec is already notified. Death certificates have been issued and received. Just not sure if we are legally bound to pay all the bills. I would have been executor but there was nothing to divide in her name. Will simply said divide equally, three ways, any remaining assets. Should I have filed something in probate? Should I give the bills to my sister? Or send death certificates and tell them no estate or probate filed. Am I legally bound beyond this?

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I also found this in an article from Forbes magazine:"The IRS expects you to keep a running tally and report these gifts so it will know how much has already been used up when you die. For example, if you have used $1 million of the exclusion to make taxable lifetime gifts, the unused exclusion if you die in 2015 will be $4.43 million, rather than $5.43 million".
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From the IRS web site FAQ:

"Who pays the gift tax?
The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the donee may agree to pay the tax instead. Please visit with your tax professional if you are considering this type of arrangement."
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Sorry RetiredArmy - gifted pay the tax, if there is any - not the receiver.
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Your duties as POA ended when your mom died.

If your mom made provisions for her creditors upon her death honor those provisions. If she did not you can contact her creditors and let them know she died and that there is no estate.

My dad died with just enough money for us to tend to his cremation and a small memorial service. Because I had been POA and his mail had been coming to me I took on the task of contacting his creditors to let them know he had died. He was already quite behind in many of his financial obligations as he was in a nursing home and didn't have two nickels to rub together. Some of his creditors asked about "the estate" and I explained that he had been in a nursing home and had been on Medicaid and there was no estate. It was a fairly simple process making these calls and mailing out death certificates.
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Get a lawyer. In some states, creditors have rights to go after non probatable assets. Any amount gifted over 14,000.00 is taxable to the receiver. An estate that has a will must be probated, even if it is insolvent.
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Since I can't sleep, I just looked up a few things regarding gift tax. The current life time tax free gift amount is 5.43 million dollars. So that's quite a bit a person is able to gift before the IRS will hit you with any taxes. In addition each spouse is able to give a single person $14,000 before it has to be reported at all. So for instance- if your sister is married, she is allowed to give her hubby any amount tax free- a nice little loophole. Then hubby could give you $14,000 and sister can give you $14,000 - all not required to be reported. In your situation- if your taking $100,000 split 3-ways your share would be $33,000. Going this route sis and hubby can give you a total of $28,000 and not have to report one cent - your almost there in one shot. If you are married sis and hubby could gift your husband the same amount - now your at $56,000 - all legally NOT reported to the IRS! But again / unless it is anticipated that sis will gift over 5 million dollars in her life - you don't even have to go the seperate, individual gift route - just get your money in one nice big lump. Sorry I've veered off you original questions but perhaps this information can be useful to you as well.
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I'm afraid I can't help with your questions but I did have a comment regarding the money your sister is gifting you. Hopefully I'm not opening a can of worms for you. However I've found there is a mass of misinformation out there regarding this subject. First - gift tax is paid by the giver not the receiver- so your sister in this case. Second, gift tax is paid at the time of the gifters death in their final taxes. Lastly - gift tax is only paid when the total gifts given over their lifetime exceeds a huge smount. I checked several years ago and at that time it was about one million dollars. So unless your sister anticipated giving away that amount - she need not worry about taxes. If taxes is the only reason you can't get the money in one lump - well, that's just not accurate. You can find this information for yourself on line or consult a tax accountant. One side note - yes, your sister will have to file a gift return for every gift over a specific amount - per person. Last time I checked you could give $12000 per person a year without filing. But again- the gift filing is for informational purposes only - she will not have to pay taxes on it at that time and more than likely ever. Check into it, seriously.
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