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Old 03-22-2014, 09:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MBMiner View Post
Don't you mean that "technically" it is frozen at deate of death but for practical purposes you might be able to get away with transactions in the account until the depository learns of the death?
Bruce
If you have full access to someone's account, you can make trades and remove all the assets from it. If the TOD beneficiary had no knowledge of this account, they'd never know to pursue the assets since this won't go through probate (This is probably one of the great dangers of bypassing probate, losing track of an asset). The only time this account would be frozen is when someone contacts the brokerage to let them know the account owner died. From a legal standpoint, I'd imagine you could sue the brokerage, but I don't know if it would do any good in the example I gave. It may fall on the beneficiary to try to find the party and take them to court.

I will also mention before obtaining the executor of the estate court docs, you can elect to not transfer ownership of a TOD bank account because future checks may need to be processed in the deceased's name.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
If you have full access to someone's account, you can make trades and remove all the assets from it. If the TOD beneficiary had no knowledge of this account, they'd never know to pursue the assets since this won't go through probate (This is probably one of the great dangers of bypassing probate, losing track of an asset). The only time this account would be frozen is when someone contacts the brokerage to let them know the account owner died. From a legal standpoint, I'd imagine you could sue the brokerage, but I don't know if it would do any good in the example I gave. It may fall on the beneficiary to try to find the party and take them to court.

I will also mention before obtaining the executor of the estate court docs, you can elect to not transfer ownership of a TOD bank account because future checks may need to be processed in the deceased's name.
Unlawfully dealing with the assets of a decedent would appear to be grand theft. No minor crime, subject to criminal and civil liability.
Bruce
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:26 PM   #23
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Make sure a trust won't create headaches for your survivors that outweigh any perceived advantages. FIL died 6 years ago with a trust (no need - the estate was too small, but a lawyer relative talked him into it.) We are still trying to deal with some assets (oil royalties) that were placed in the trust. Total income last year from these royalties were $1.5K each for DW and BIL. The number of hours of work that have gone into dealing with them (and will continue ad infinitum) makes the hourly rate only marginally attractive. Nothing like writing a slew of checks for $0.14 to cover taxes on properties. BIL refuses to sell them because they were his grandfather's.

Sorry, FIL screwed up so many things in his estate planning, but the trust just keeps on giving.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:01 AM   #24
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The marital estate tax exemption is portable since 2012 as long as the surviving spouse files an estate tax return when the first spouse passes away. Here is a good discussion on the Bypass Trust by Michael Kitces Permanent Portability Of The Estate Tax Exemption - Is It Time To Bypass The Bypass Trust For Good? | Kitces.com
Note that portability applies only to the federal estate tax. None of the states that collect a state estate tax have adopted portability of the (typically lower) state estate tax exemption. A trust framework may help to address this. In some of these states there are ways to plan for both state and federal estate taxes in such a way that will defer the payment of all estate taxes until after the second spouse's death.
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