Follow
Share

My parents have been married for 62 years. My father is 90 mom is 85. My dad pays all their expenses; always has. I just discovered that my father had 7 bank accounts with only his name on them. I know, too many accounts. The majority of their money are in these account. My father refuses to even put her on as a beneficiary. I have explained the ramifications of this and he is firm and determined not to change anything. He does not want anyone else's name anywhere on his accounts. Stubborn does not describe him. It's too kind of a word. They do have a small joint account and she will get survivor benefits. They live in NY. This is going to be a mess for me to clean up one day. This is not a small amount money either. It's his life savings. Any thoughts community? Thanks

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Lovethem7, oh yes, elders can be very stubborn and protective of their money. Your Dad probably had a good reason decades ago to just have the money under his name, as he was the breadwinner and the man of the family. I bet his Dad did the same thing, and so did some of his friends. That is just how it was. I wouldn't be surprise if your Mom got a household allowance and she had to make that stretch until the next week.

Sometimes we need to use what are called therapeutic fibs to get our elders to do something which is in their best interest. For me, it was getting my parents [also in their 90's] to update their Wills, which were older than dirt. What I said was their Will was so out-of-date that the State would get half of everything. Dad's ears perked up, and he immediately had his and my Mom's Will updated, plus updating their Power of Attorneys to include two names instead of just one, plus other legal documents.

You can do that with your Dad, tell him without a beneficiary on his bank accounts, the State will get half the money. Yes, it's a fib, hopefully it will work.

Hope your parents have Power of Attorneys drawn up, so in case Dad is no longer able to handle paying bills, etc. then the financial POA can step in. Oh, my parents also had banks accounts spread over a lot of banks... guess there must have been free toasters and waffle makers if you opened a new account :P
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

ff, lol about the toasters. lovethem, sorry for the suspicion but is there a chance he is supporting someone else y'all don't know about with some of his accounts? Since your mom is his spouse, wouldn't his money go to her anyway if he passes? I like the Will idea, and the distinction of telling him that half the money will go to the state, not that your mom will have to depend on the state. If you're willing to take a risk with his anger, you could make sure any friends, neighbors, church mates, pastor, doctors of his know how he's leaving your mom and let some public pressure set in.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Does he understand that putting her on as beneficiary does NOT give her access to the funds? It merely means that she is the person to inherit it in the event of his passing. That's it. They are still his funds with no one else getting access - nothing changes from how it is right now.

I have to admit, I wondered if he was hiding something. Then it dawned on me that perhaps his background/knowledge is such that he does not have a clear understanding of the limited effect of assigning a beneficiary.

I would want to be really clear that I inderstood his reasoning. So ask him what would change if mom was assigned as beneficiary. Listen carefully, keep an open mind. If he says "it is my account.". Say "yes it is, and it still will be yours and only yours with no one else having access. But should you pass away they will know who is to inherit it. For your life time everything about the account remains as it always has been."

He would have to come up with a really good reason for not doing it for me to stop exploring and explaining that this is what a responsible husband does; ensures his wife's security should he no longer be able to do so himself.

Does he have a will? Does your mother have a will? Has she seen his will?
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

DONTASK4HANDOUT - you are way off the mark! - were do you get such antiquated ideas? - just because the dad got the paycheque doesn't mean that the mom didn't earn it too - who kept him in clean clothes & fed him? - the dad is back in dark ages - the mom worked just as hard to keep the home a home - he did the 'glamour' paid job while she did the grunt work at home - given their ages they are there were no dishwashers, washing machines were wringer style, she probably hand waxed the floors every week, then there was the kids to raise - she deserves any money as much as he does

How much money the gov't & executor will take their % of estate is the issue - best to explain to dad he has already paid taxes on his money but without a beneficiary then there will be extra taxes that he could avoid - does he want the gov't to get his hard earn money or his family to remember him as savvy by avoiding extra taxes, work etc
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Your father has, no doubt, lost the wherewithal to handle so many bank accounts. You'll have to step in-whether he likes it or not! And why does he have his life savings in bank accounts? Something is majorly amiss here.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I said something to my dad over a year ago & my cousin just said he is rethinking his final arrangements that I mentioned then - sometimes just talking over an issue plants a seed that will ripen over time - pull back & let him stew about it for a while & maybe he will come up with 'his new idea' all on his own - good luck
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

For what it's worth, after my mother passed, I took my dad to the bank because he thought he was broke - to the point of cancelling the phone & cable.

The bank VP told Dad that he needed to add me to all the accounts in case of emergency so the money could be reached if I had to purchase anything for him. (like a nursing home)

He only turned to me and asked what would I do with the monies if he died? I said, just like in your will, it will all be divided equally. He signed the paperwork and for 7 years I was on all his accounts until the day he passed. (I did not discuss his finances with anyone.)

I was already named Executrix by my mother and I did keep him out of a NH. A year after he died, at probate, I learned that legally, everything was mine.

Everything was divided equally between us siblings.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I second the notion that it is not HIS money. He should see what the services she provided were and are worth in the market place if he had to pay someone (this information is available on websites). He is literally treating your mother as his slave. I have no sympathy for putting up with those old farts. He should be educated to reality and then yes, it is a great fantasy to have her divorce him. She won't because the old bully has browbeaten her all their life together. I, too, suspect something else going on - the toaster idea is cute and it did make me smile - but that may not be all there is to be discovered. It is not HIS money! It is THEIR money. 90 is no excuse for his attitude.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My father in-law had several stock market accounts. When he died - we had more issues with the accounts that had joint names on them. It was a nightmare. We had to close out the joint accounts and then reopen new accounts in my mother-in-laws name. It took months (long story). It wasn't easy. The accounts in his name only, went directly to my MIL because she was the beneficiary.

If he would be willing to put you mom as the sole beneficiary than that will hopefully solve your problem. If not, then I am sorry. Maybe if your mom talked to him and it wasn't you; would that work?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Lovethem7 - glad you've gotten some food thought on this site. Poor dad! It sounds like he plans to take it with him! Has your mom ever had a health crisis which prevented her from "serving" and taking care of the children? Unfortunately, it took several serious health problems & hospitalizations of my mom for my dad to realize he couldn't "take care of her" anymore and they lived 7 hours away from me. He was so stressed that he finally concluded that he needed to "give up" managing his finances & pass that on to me. He also has severe macular degeneration which severely affects his vision. I share everything I do with him & we go over things about once every 2 weeks. This is for his comfort. He is 91 & was raised in the depression/WWII era. He never thought he would be in this position, but here we are. He & mom are now in assisted living near me & doing well. Please understand - this was a 2-YEAR process! I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, but after seeing what some of his peers were going through, he realized his options were very limited. No one is more protective of his money than him, but he finally relented & turned things over to me & my brother. Based on what I have been reading, your dad seems suspicious of everyone's motives. Perhaps he has a good reason for that - past experiences, observances of other's situations, etc. This is a lot to shoulder. I hope he will rethink his ideas over time, & plan better for his & his wife's futures,
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.