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I have a power of Special Power of Attorney dated September of 1995 naming me as Attorney-in-fact and a Last Will and Testament dated Feb 2006 appointing me as personal representative. I'm also a cosigner on my Mother's checking and banking accounts. My name is listed below hers on all documents including checks. Where do I start in order to distribute funds per my mother's request?

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Thanks for making me laugh, Ferris1 ! I need that. :) Teri
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No, no, no on social security asking for return of funds. I asked this question specifically when I was in the office, and they pay a month behind (great idea) since people don't usually tell us when they will die. A little Christmas humor, don't take offense...freedom of speech, right?
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If it is yours now, you can distribute it as you see fit. My name was on my mom's condo so when I sold it, I distributed the money to my four brothers.
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DC2016:
#1 Pay all bills due out of her account
#2 File her tax return for the current year, whether her estate be held in a trust fund or not.
#3 Give some time for additional bills to come in for payment.
#4 Ensure that her monument has been designed and paid for.
#5 After all is certain that there will be no more additional bills due, close out her bank accounts, while at the same time dividing remaining monies up to her children.
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I'm sorry for your loss

If your mom received Social Security and/or VA, and it was direct deposited, they may send notice to the bank for the return of funds, if she received a check after her death.
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1. Publish a death notice. 2. File Will for probate in County Court. 3. You take your court order to the bank and move money to an estate account. Arizona requires a 4 month waiting period. You wait for all claims against the estate for 4 months. Those are paid before you distribute anything. That will include things like paying her 2016 income tax.
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If you are cosigner of the bank accounts, you can distribute them yourself But I wouldn't do it right away, as there will be expenses and bills to pay. Are there medical bills?, payback on pension?, plots to buy, memorial stones engraved and placed, bequests named in the will, funeral expenses, open and close on the grave. Did she owe anything on credit cards?

I lost my mother this past July 2016 so it is fresh in my mine. We had most of her assets made financial instruments with beneficiers attached so all we needed is a death certificate for us to cllaim an equal share. She got to keep her last social security check because she was alive the entire previous month. No so with the pension. She was only alive 3 days of July so had to pay back most of the last check. The funeral bill should come first, then the memorial and burial, then lawyer fees, probate costs, regular bills, then bequests, and the beneficieries last.

If you probate, that will be about $2000 to $3000 (they require it up front), but if she has property or (bonds, CDs, Annuity) not with your name (or no beneficieries) you may have no choice but to probate.

Sorry for your loss.
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The Will has to be probated, and check with your bank as to their regulations on the shared checking account. You may be able to disperse funds since you are on the account. Then handle each creditor one at a time. Get lots of copies of her death certificate and give yourself some time to grieve. I am sorry for your loss. I lost my mother in 2002, and I miss her every day since every time I look in the mirror, I see her hair curling the same on me.
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However the ownership on the account was done will determine what can happen. If the account was done to be POD / pay on death to you, then whatever in the account as of that day is yours. You will need to take an original death certificate to the bank to get this started. But if the account was owned by mom and you were just a signature on the account, then the $ in it becomes an asset of her estate and will need to be distributed however probate can be done for your state. Some states allow for small estates affidavit. If mom's will is valid, then you should be named executor by probate court. Again just what can be done (simple, easy or more involved dependent administration) will depend on your states probate laws.

I'd suggest you find out the banking situation first. If the account is mom's, then the bank will likely "freeze" the account till ownership is determined & with court document (order). You will need to contact a atty &/or probate court to figure out just how to approach all this that is OK for your state.

Mom could well have died with debts. If so, those need to be allowed some way to file a claim against her estate, if they plan to do this. Just how claims are done, again depends on your states laws.
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First of all, your Power of Attorney has stopped, it is only good when the person is alive.

You will need to do Probate at the County offices before you can distribute anything in your Mom's Will. It is a bit of a maze so pack a lot of patience.

As for the bank accounts, you will need to check with the bank to see how it was originally signed up.
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