My mother has a Living Trust that she set up in which her assets are to be divided equally between my sister and me. My sister left as soon as our mom began to get ill and I have been her caregiver since. My mom opened a CD in both of our names but it is not included in her Living Trust. It makes me nervous even though I have not seen my sister in years. Is it legal for us to have this CD or should I put it into her Trust? I now have her POA since the Alzheimers set in. I appreciate any advice you can give me. Thank you.


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I am not an expert, but I have helped my Mom arrange her trust. My understanding is that anything in the trust belongs to the trust, not to your Mom, you, or your sibs. It is like its own living person. Sounds like you are her trustee, so it will be up to you to honor her last wishes. How funds will be disbursed after her death is covered by her will. If the will says that you will have to divide all assets in her estate, both in the liviing will or not, everything must be divided. If your Mom set up this joint CD outside of the trust AND named you as the sole beneficiary of her half when she passes you should be okay.
If this is causing you worry, the next time the CD matures, divide the proceeds and open individual CDs or have her put it in your name only. (be aware however, that Medicaid may see this as a "gift" and it will be subject to a look back period if she ever needs to go to a Medicaid facility.)
As always, it is prudent to consult and attorney or accountant. Relatives come out of the woodwork when there is money to be had.....
good luck
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