Money in reserve versus 100% left to beneficiaries. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Money in reserve versus 100% left to beneficiaries. Any advice?

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I am trying to plan a smooth time after my parents both are gone. I anticipate to sell their home, will need some cash left in their checking account. However, (on the advice of their attorney, who is not Elder Care) they have every single account with beneficiary designation divided equally amongst 5 kids....this means no monies available to me to make their home presentable for sale. I am thinking they should keep a decent amount maybe 10k in an account, with their Estate as beneficiary, and could be used by me Executor for their final expenses of settling estate. Why did their lawyer not include that in his advice? Now I am faced with asking my parents to both go to their bank and fill out new forms & paperwork, which is a bit unsettling for my dad especially. I am wondering if anyone here can comment on the need for some monies, does about 10k seem adequate?

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Igloo, I am this close to doing exactly that, gathering up all copies I have, an a list of questions, and going to a genuine Elder Care lawyer....(oh the pain)...this will cost me personally, good money, but might save my sanity, and I my husband thinks I should just formally tell the parent's lawyer You're Fired, once they have both passed. I don't know if there is any value in keeping them, except they may have some memory of some conversation somewhere, and if one of sisters contests the will, she would bring old lawyer in as some type of evidence, maybe. But really, are lawyer's mere words any type of evidence? Isn't the actual will document the only evidence of my parents wishes? That is a good question.
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Samara - so the 1/5 this is from the newest will & also leaves $ to their church? Or are they planning on yet another codicil to their wills and include church? The attorney, well he goes back aways in dealing with your dad doesn't he? pretty chatty type I'd bet?I cannot imagine just how much dad has paid over time with this law firm. I'd be somewhat concerned if parents have changed their will several time in the recent past as siblings could try to make waves as to parents ability to be competent for changes.

Dad is pretty all about control, isn't he? Sounds like mom will be amenable if things need to change, the day she stops doing daily laundry, I'd be concerned though.....

Really I'd suggest you take all things " parent" & you go on your own to see a NAELA elder lawyer to have them review what done so far and provide options.
Dad probably feels with 250k liquid, his home, that all is of no worry. 1 fall, trip on the stairs to the basement, or bad illness and you have to hire 3 Darcy's, their nest egg will be significantly reduced.

You want to make sure that IF there are funds, that you are paid -& separate from your inheritance - to administer their estate as executrix & have that in will.

Also ask your legal, about what the church your folks mention in their will tends to handle things. If its catholic or larger denominations, they have legal on retainer and may posed even more work for you as executrix.

Out of curiosity, which sibling or better yet their spouse will likely be the one to be unhappy no matter what?
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samara, I would ask someone at the bank or the lawyer who drew this up about this. I think that unless the benefactor is listed on the account as co-owner with right of survivorship that it might not go instantly to them like the money will go to you once you are coo-owner of your mom's personal checking account. With your name on your mom's personal account, you will get more money than your other siblings since it is separate from the account that you are beneficiary of. If that is what your mother wants to do that is fine. Normally the executor of the will has to wait until all bills are paid before any money is disbursed. You really need to find out from the bank and from the lawyer.
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The house is good condition and I personally have helped mom de-junk entire basement and closets. Not a fancy kitchen but its newer all-white & stainless. No granite but quartz composite.
Funerals prepaid. No debts (now) but if there's extended NH they don't have much funds left, in their 90's.
My mom says she can add me as co-owner to her personal checking account so we will do that asap. But all their IRA and other bank accounts, including mom's checking, are sitting there with beneficiary designations. So if the parents both died in their sleep tonite, does that mean all the 4 siblings would be awarded or somehow could cash in their share? Or is there some function that I as Executor have to (I hope) wait until all bills are paid, and adjust the accounts accordingly, before the sibs can cash in? They have roughly $250k in all accounts, not including home. I really don't want to have to pay any house-related costs out of just my share (and the sibs are as you guessed, not very involved & unreliable to pay back money they've ever owed me).
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I have some questions that comes to my mind tonight. In dividing up these 5 accounts for the 5 siblings, did your parents maintain ownership of them? Are they still liable for tax on the interest earned? Are these accounts co-owened with the parents with right of survivor ship or just POD?

I believe if the accounts are still owned by your parents, then they have the right to draw from them to pay for their care and upkeep on their house. I think only co-ownership would mean an account would immediately go to the beneficiary like it did with my mother and I for she made me co-owner with right of survivorship of her personal accounts and CD's.

Anyhow, all of this sounds like a total mess.
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Are you kidding? 10K won't even bury one of them let alone two. It won't pay taxes or fix the house or anything else. I can guarantee you those beneficiaries will not lift a finger to help you settle anything either, nor will they be willing to pay any Nursing Home debts outstanding. WOW
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Remodeling a home can be tough, like igloo572 says "thank you H&G TV"... now the vast majority of Buyers cannot live a normal life unless they have granite counter-tops, French Door refrigerators, all appliances being stainless steel, and wood floors on all levels even in the kitchen.

Then comes along me, the Buyer, who isn't a fan of granite or stainless steel, and prefers a side-by-side refrigerator, butcher block counter-top, and all appliances to be in white :)
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my bad, should be "thank you H&G TV"
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Just too many unknown & not enough details:
-parents ages & health - what is their assets like, can they afford to private pay for NH care if needed, or AL. Do they have about 300K, cause that is what they will need to do private pay NH at a minimum for a couple of years.
- is there insurance policies and who for beneficiary
- do they have a fully prepaid funeral & burial policies
- condition of the house right now and what are the comps & DOM's. This will give you an idea of what you might be able to get for the house. Personally I'd go to see a couple of homes that are similar to your parents house in sq ft and zip code. If they are all renovated to be sold, you are either going to have to do a lot of work to make it meet your area's comps or you get low $ investor money. It if needs a lot of work, there are costs and time involved for that - just how much of a sense of humor will you have to run to the house to pay a workman for the 8th time in a week. Your siblings will not expect you to get paid for your time on doing this sorts of things, I bet. The DOM (days on market) is important as if it takes 6 months to sell in your 'hood, that is 6 months of having to have the house kept up, maintained, cleaned and full utilities going on, all that costs.Perhaps the costs of an insurance rider for it being in estate and on the market. Buyers want & expect granite countertops, waterfall shower head, modern kitchen (thank you H>V) and they can easily find those. There could be something odd about the house, that is unplanned - like in a historic district, or watershed issues. If they have been in the house since forever, who is going to clear it? Old people homes filled with their stuff is just not competitive.

The attorney probably did what your parents asked for: to divide their $ equally. There was no planning done or reality check on the costs of aging - both of the aging of themselves and their house done I'd bet. If I was going to be names executrix of this, I'd take all their legal, details on the house and a face sheet on their assets & income and details on all the kids (& spouses) and go to see on your own an elder law guy. One thing I've found is attorney's do love looking at others work to point out all the things that should have been done. Also if you are executor you want to make sure there are funds to be able to pay your for your administration of the estate.

5 siblings means 5 in-laws and someone (there will be 1 in-law who is going to be a total butt rash I bet) is not going to be happy. 10K too too low.
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I'm not sure that I follow this. Why could not the money have been left just like it was with the will saying the money left in the estate after bills, burial expenses, final taxes, etc. are paid to be divided among the 5 kids equally?

Another problem that I see coming is how these accounts will all be equal if you as the POA are going to be drawing form those funds still over the years for their care and for their taxes?

I don't know how if $10,000 will be enough for remodeling the house to prepare it for sale? A lot of this depends on how much longer your parents live and what upkeep you will need to be doing to the house while they still live in it?

Maybe, I am totally off base, but this strikes me as being more complicated than it needs to be. For instance, my dad and step-mother set up their will to be equally divided between he two children and me with my part divided by certain percentages between myself and my two boys upon the death of whoever died last. My step-mother died in May of 2014. My dad is 89 and living at home with 24/7 care via three caregivers who work 8 hour shifts each. This arrangement frees up my step-sister who is the POA to spend their money on his care expenses plus on upkeep of the house. If he should still be alive and need to move to a memory care unit in a nursing home, the house should have been kept up well enough to sell without too much trouble or expense.

If I were your dad, I would find all of this very unsettling.
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