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He is in a nursing home as he is beyond my ability to provide care. We are private pay right now.

Doctors have given him no more than 30 days. My name is also on everything he owns. Some things are in his and my name only some are in his, his wife and my name and some things are in my mother inlaws name and my name only. If he passes do these things go to probate? I'm thinking No since my name is also on the account as a joint owner and I'm still here.

But I'm wondering if the accounts that are just in his name go to his wife or are they just his and mine. I am also taking care of my mother in law who has had a stroke, has dementia, psychosis, high anxiety and depression. If she gets to a point I can't provide care she will have to go to a nursing home (hoping that isn't for a while)

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Thanks Every one looks like I need to re-contact our attorney and do a little leg work. All the POA's and funeral arrangements etc are already in place and ready to go. I will have to re-check the bank accounts and investment accounts to see how they are set up. I know I was there when they were set up but that has to be 20 years ago.

They actually had an emergency Hospice re-evaluation on Tues and he did qualify and they gave him no more than a month before he passes. As of last Fri he was holding his own and over the weekend its like the floor fell out. On O2, morphine etc. Its just a matter of time as to which organs will shut down first. Thanks eveyone
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If he isn't on hospice, please look into getting that Medicare benefit.

About his "estate", please realize that nothing needs to be done immediately except for the funeral & the things the FH can do for you. The FH usually files for the SS death benefit for family too - most of the time family turns this small amount (about $ 250.00) to the FH to go towards funeral expenses. Even if he has a pre-need done, there will be things that it doesn't cover. Also the FH will order the death certificates for you. You need to thing about how many different ones you will need…..every bank will need one, each insurance policy, each property, etc. then add another 1/2 dozen. Almost everybody wants an original and rarely do you get them returned. The FH will do this for you, just let FH know the number. You want this done the first time out too as later on it costs lots more and you have to provide more details AND most courthouses only take cash or money order to pay for them. PIAzz.

It sounds like he did some advance planning and this is great. If your name is on as a co-owner, you may just be able to send a letter with the death certificate to get the legal done to change stuff and totally do an end run around needing probate. Ask at the banks as to how the accounts are done, if any of them are POD (pay on death), then all you have to do is go and cash those out as POD are not included in probate. If they are POD, you can do this whenever, so no rush to get this done just in case there are bills out there that need to be paid. If they are JTOWROS, then those should easily convert to your name & SS #

Most states probate laws allow for some time to pass before you are required to open probate. Google what's what in your state and then take your time.
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Pre-plan the funeral, there are so many details. Write a nice Obituary, get the plot #, find a nice picture for the paper, that way you just make one phone call and things are all set. Talk to mom's MD about whether or not she can attend the funeral, and if she will need medication. The accounts: make a list of all the accounts with bank/branch/acct # and find the Will. Talk to a lawyer, in some states the wife is not the automatic heir. In NY with no Will, she gets 2/3, other states may have other laws.
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Aside from the usual questions is there a will? POA? Health Care directives for your MIL? (and if there aren't, it's too late so don't stress over it now). The passisng of assets depends upon how the ownersip is titled. For example, a bank account with 'joint ownership' is considered to be owned half each. That means, half the money would be considered yours and half your FIL's. His half of the account would then pass according to his will. Property that is owned 'joint with rights of survivorship' would become the surviving person's asset. It sounds like you are fortunate there will be assets for your MIL's care when that time comes. Spend time with your FIL and help him pass quietly knowing he was loved. The only other advice is to spend some time considering funeral arrangements. It may be easier to draft obits, check on arrangements that need to me made etc now rather than later.
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Suggest you contact an attorney with expertise in elder law and estate planning. Ask for a consult (even by phone) -- this will be money well spent in advance of your father's death and declining health. Do you have DPOA, AMD, Wills copies? If not, see if you can get copies to be reviewed with attorney -- or better yet, contact the attorney that drew them up and ask him to help you understand them. If you don't have these in place, if Dad is mentally competent, encourage Dad to have an attorney (elder law attorney only) come to the NH and help dad draw up these important documents.

I'm not an expert. You might also check the Legal and Financial tab on this site in upper right corner for more info or to ask your question and get feedback from legal rep.
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