My parents are considering putting my name on certain bank accounts. Is that wise to do?

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A POA is so serious we are all a bit reluctant to go that far, at least right now. Putting my name on some of the bank accounts so I can write checks or make withdrawals for them seems like a nice (temporary) middle ground. I've heard of children all with good and honest intentions getting slammed by taxes on their parents assets as if the children "suddenly" had this added net-worth. The effect is similar to a POA without being such a broad impact. So is this a wise thing to do and would it impact my tax position in any way?

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Dutchman "put your name on" can mean a lot of different things. As a signer or a joint account or payable on death? If mom dead or alive?
If she is alive, the money can only be spent on her needs, not yours.
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Can I close a small 40,000 savings account that my mother put my name on with her to withdraw for paying bills .
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Hello everyone, thank you all for your responses. This is saddest thing that I could ever imagine and it should bring us together, not apart. But, in all reality, when I look at the family dynamics and my relationship with my sister from forever, I should not be surprised.

My mother has issues from her own childhood and still talks about them, to the point that I refuse to hear them. I feel that no one is responsible for abuse or neglect that happens to them but they are certainly responsible to get help and have no right to torture their own children because of it or use it as an excuse to be a substandard human being. I am sorry, I draw the line at this. If you had your eyelids sewn open, were horribly abused and held in a closet or something else you may have something that is more understandable but not because your mother favored your younger sister due to a child between you dying and she had a breakdown. The next child born saved her mom's sanity, the lost child died at 18 mos of a rupture appendix and the guilt at improper dx and care overwhelmed her. She was wrong to not give my mother, at the tender age of 3, the care and love she needed but well, things happen. She did adore the next daughter and so it goes.

My aunt is satan to my mother and she has always called me her name my entire life, like a slip of the tongue and my sister is my mother from head to toe, in appearance and behavior, to the extent that it is scary. These dynamics have caused a rift that only widened with the years and the personality profile of my mom being that she is cruel and says the worst things she can think of to maim and harm you when she is angry, was passed to my only sister. She does the same.

It is an interesting thing to muddle through and a sad one as well. I told my mother this past weekend that I wanted to have the attorneys make my sister the DPOA and she said no, she never wanted her as that, she would prefer another lawyer. Well, sports fans, she is not wealthy and that is not an option. My sister is not equipped to be the POA, she hates me more than she loved my mom, and that is the absolute truth. She is petty, jealous, angry and mean inside. There is nothing anyone can do until she wants a different life. This behavior is with her in all her jobs, and other relationships. I love her but I do not like her at all and she has finally run me off. I am done with her and if my mother does not stop with the "you do not do anything for me" crap, I am going to insist on the DPOA and let the chips fall. I am not well myself and this is almost more than i can take.
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OneOfTwo, I am in similar situation, but I'm 1of5, and my parents (in 90's) changed all their documents (Dpoa, Executor, Trust, bank POA and bank co-owner) in 2014. 3 of the 4 sibs no longer speak to parents or me, but you can be sure they'll be there with their tongues drooling after both parents go, its so sad that they all moved so far out of state, and they never come to visit. Its a fractured family to be sure. I actually would not want theur "help" when the time comes, they have sticky fingers every time they have managed to visit, they insist in staying in nice hotel and they're sure to mention thier costs to Dad or Mom, who (used to) whip open the wallets and give them hundreds or thousands of dollars reimbursement. Meanwhile, there I am, 3-4-5-7 times a week doing everything. Mom finally saw the inequity (see my other posts). She alone called up the lawyer and arranged to change it all (you should've seen the lawyer's face). The current state of affairs of my family probably won't ever improve, and that is just fine with me. My folks need to preserve their funds, and all these sib's are Adults after all. My advices to you, keep meticulous records, everything needs ti be written down that you do on behalf on your mom. Use your cell phone always (mine has printable records for 3 months). Make photocopy of everything and keeo copy, scan & store in PC. The rrason for doing all this is to protect yourself against your sibling claiming you messed up something, or worse, you get sued by APS or M.A. for abusing funds. I hop you'll post some updates. Best wishes.
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thx so much, I am home for a minute. I have stayed at her house since she got out of the hospital for two weeks. My sister has yet to come see her. Guys, this is horrible. I have blocked her from my phones and facebook. I tried calling her to talk to her about mom and she started screaming and cussing me and I just decided I have taken enough from her. She has done this to me for years but now, she is punishing me for being named POA. She has refused to take mom to the hospital two times, this being one of them. The other time she had to have two litres of fluid drained from her stomach, she was in excruciating pain. They found her to have non alcohol related cirrhosis of the liver. this time pneumonia and she was put into the ICU. She only called my sister two times because I am run ragged, my sister does nothing and she hates calling me for everything. I told her, never call her again. My sister is refusing to help because of the POA appointment but I told her that by her actions she is proving she could never be moms POA. I am thinking about having her removed as a joint healthcare POA. What do you guys think? I am NOT going to do a coexecutrix with her. No way. She has to do it alone or abdicate to me.
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Thank you everyone - very sound reasoning and advice. I've been telling people about this great group I found. WOW, as one of the first writers commented I sure have a lot to think about. And if I may add, a lot to learn. The slight tangent (no offense) is helpful too. I'm a bit more with the stubborn situation another writer pointed out. Yes, they are simple finances but they have some big numbers involved, a step parent is involved, and out of 4 children only 2 remain. The other is not considered family so hence sole survivor. I'm looking forward to following some of the other threads of discussion. A few on how mother's can be in the golden years sure caught my eye!!! Thanks again all.
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oneoftwo, yes everything freezes immediately. SS publishes a daily death list, and banks check it every day and issue a HOLD. The Executors go to the bank with the Will and Death certificate ORIGINAL copy and an EIN number for the "Estate of Mrs. xxxxxxx" and move all her assets into an Estate account. NOTHING is distributed until the estate waiting period is up and all bills are paid. Every state has a different waiting period. Here in NY it is 7 months.
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Hi I cannot really respond as I on mobile at moms and cannot do this wout wanting to scream. I am not trying to 'gift' myself anything but to secure funds to handle business in case of her passing and the funds being frozen. Hence my question about will they be frozen if no one is jt on the acct or released to the named executrix? I have directed the establishment of estate accts in my career many times, I understand letters of testamentary, etc. I am concerned with frozen assets. My sister and I are horribly estranged, she does nada for mom. But we are designated as co exec in the will because our parents chose me and she flipped out. I will abdicate my co to her single as I know we cannot do that together. I know the spelling may be wretched but I cannot see it and I apologize. I will get online to read and catch u all up soon s I can, mom is home and I am staying here around the clock, no internet.
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Solesurvivor - I think you do want to become DPOA for both your parents. I don't find being DPOA to be something major. Really having a DPOA is just good judgement & planning on the part of all that someone can be able to do things IF need be as one good fall could leave your parents quite incapacitated. Without the POA's - Durable & Medical - you could find yourself unable to do anything for your parents if need be. You simply have no standing. Hospitals, clinics, ER, doc's etc cannot give you any info on your parents due to HIPPA. You have to have a MPOA to get the info that you may critically need. Really speak with you parents about going to an elder law attorney to get the basic paperwork done: DPOA, MPOA, a will or codicil to their old will. If your state allows for a "Guardianship in case of Incapacity" statement to be done, get that one done too. Really even if your folks seem all sensible now, things can change in a heart-beat.

My NH mom has been on hospice now for 18 months, this summer after another TIA, things looked pretty bad so I went to find out exactly where I stood for her banking. I am DPOA; it is 1 checking account & mom is on Medicaid. I live in another state. I pay directly from this account mom's SOC payment to the NH and write checks for whatever personal stuff she needs when I come in to visit.

this is what I was told: account is set up under mom's SS with me as a signature on the account. Account is POD to me upon her death & as such I can elect to keep it open with my SS attached to the account as it is now mine due to POD. I just need to keep it "active" in some way, like a small deposit every 6 months. This account only gets mom's SS & my late dad's federal survivor retirement, so once she dies there will be no longer be any direct deposit of funds so just whatever smallish amount left from her personal needs allowance of $ 60 each month not paid to NH as mom's SOC for Medicaid will be left. This account can become the estate account when probate opens and can change to that if need be.

Now my mom's state (TX) has probate at 4 years, so I could as executrix in theory keep the account open being idle for quite a long time before it became an estate account. Whether or not it will become an estate account will depend on just what path of probate is done. If full probate opened, then yes, it will turn into estate of account and the balance as of her DoD is due to me from her estate whenever that closes. But if we are able to do a muniment of title for her house, then no and I'll just let the account run as is till muniment if finished then close it out and the remainder is mine.

Your state's banking rules and probate laws are going to make a difference as to what your options are. Really you need to be DPOA. Most states have POA as totally private with 2 witnesses and a notary signature & seal to be legal. Some states (like Mississippi) you are supposed to register the document at the courthouse.
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one of two: yes your POA ends at death. The Executor of the Will moves things into an estate account. Then they wait for all bills to be presented. In NY the waiting period is 7 months. Other states have different rules.
Any lawyer will tell you NEVER co-mingle funds. About the safest option is to be added only as an authorized signer and NOT a joint account owner.
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