Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-30-2011, 05:44 PM   #41
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,268
I have another update to report and its not a good one. I had last posted on 9/22 that my wife and I were coming up with a game plan on how to talk to my mother about all of the issues that I brought up. We visited and brought her meals each of the following days. One day she looked pretty bad, the next she looked better, was holding a normal conversation and moving around with her walker.

On Monday 9/26 we went to visit and she was in very bad shape. She was disoriented and confused. She was having trouble breathing and couldn't sit up by herself. We brought her to the emergency room and without getting into details, she passed away yesterday. We found out that she had a very aggressive form of lung cancer which had also spread to her liver. She had pneumonia and a variety of other less serious issues.

Obviously I felt very guilty about the whole situation but the doctor has assured me that she wouldn't have survived much more than another week or two no matter what we had done. After talking to more doctors I now believe that she knew she had cancer and was either in denial or didn't want to worry us (or both) which is why she didnt tell us anything and why she didn't get the care she needed. My brother and sister are all here and we are doing OK emotionally.

This brings me to the reason for posting so soon after her death. I am the executor of her will and would love to hear any advice you all have for me. She will be cremated and all of those arrangements have been made. I have notified Social Security. I have a power of attorney to handle all financial matters (bank accounts, real estate ect).

I have some specific questions

1) Do I need to file the will somewhere?
2) Does the will supercede the beneficiary info on her IRA. There are 4 of us kids and we are all listed 25% each on her IRA but her will specifically excludes one of her kids entirely and says that all of her assets should be split 3 ways. My brother who has been excluded is not here with us and has no idea what money she does or does not have. I dont expect him to cause a problem but if the IRA beneficiary is not superceded by the will I assume they will send his portion directly to him?
3) My mother has a 6 figure estate, but I believe there is no death tax since her estate is under a million?
4) I dont think she has life insurance but is there some way for me to find out? Is there some registry somewhere that can check? I cant very well call every insurance company and ask.

Feel free to advise me on any other isse you know will come up that I probably havent even considered yet.
__________________

__________________
utrecht is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-30-2011, 06:02 PM   #42
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Largo
Posts: 1,945
I'm so sorry you lost your mother. The incredible twists and turns life takes. You just never know.
__________________

__________________
Buckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 06:04 PM   #43
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,823
utrecht, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. My condolences to you and your whole family.

I have never been an executor, but my brother was when my mother died. He said that EVERYBODY wanted an official death certificate, and that he had obtained 20 and was worried that wasn't enough.

So, if/when you get to order them, get a lot. That's the only thing I can contribute and I hope others have some good advice for you.

My brother is a CPA, so he had that covered, plus he had her lawyer, an estate lawyer, and her CPA to help him with various things such as her final tax return and so on. There was a lot of work to do. It is important to let your siblings know everything you are doing in regular updates, so they feel you are being open and honest with them. At least, his regular emails on his progress helped me to just know what he was doing. Otherwise I would not have realized that he was actually doing so much and that it really does take that much time.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 06:08 PM   #44
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,406
My condolences on the loss of your Mother. From everything you’ve posted to now you have no reason to feel guilty at all.

Regarding the will, a six figure estate will probably need to be probated if it is not part of the IRA. The IRA beneficiary designation is final regardless of what the will says.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 06:41 PM   #45
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
I'm very sad to hear about the loss of your mom. You are a good person. You worried about her declining health but never once put her down for her weaknesses. You just tried everything to help her including reaching out here. Now you're facing the estate settlement. I wish I could offer advice but have no expertise in this area. I'm sure others around here who are much smarter than me about these issues will chime in. Rest in peace utrecht mom.
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 06:43 PM   #46
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
1) Do I need to file the will somewhere?
Judging only from my own experience when my mother died, no, unless she had property whose ownership is left unclear. I suppose it might be worthwhile checking this out with a lawyer, which is what I did (for $50), and was told I needn't file the will anywhere.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 06:52 PM   #47
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
My condolences on the loss of your Mother. From everything you’ve posted to now you have no reason to feel guilty at all.

Regarding the will, a six figure estate will probably need to be probated if it is not part of the IRA. The IRA beneficiary designation is final regardless of what the will says.
Why? Cant I just liquidate everything, split up the money and be done with it? Why does a judge need to be involved? If nobody contests anything there shouldn't be a problem, should there?
__________________
utrecht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 07:02 PM   #48
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,029
I am very sorry to hear about your Mom .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 07:03 PM   #49
Recycles dryer sheets
Nuiloa's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
Why? Cant I just liquidate everything, split up the money and be done with it? Why does a judge need to be involved? If nobody contests anything there shouldn't be a problem, should there?
I'm the executor for my mom's will. I agree that you will probably need a lot of copies of the death certificate - everyone wants them.

Keep some money in reserve for taxes. We kept about 1/3rd of the estate to hand out to the money-grubbers.

The only other advice: document everything! Keep every receipt. Just because everyone is getting along now, doesn't mean they will later. CYA.
__________________
Inside me is a skinny person crying to get out, but I can usually shut the b*tch up with cookies
Nuiloa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 07:03 PM   #50
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
powerplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,380
My condolences, it is difficult losing a parent. May she rest in peace. You now know what was going on with her and that there was no way to make it better. You did all that could be done for your mother and you should take comfort in knowing that.

As for the estate settlement, do get multiple death certificates. I believe they may be a little less $ if ordered all at the same time. Not sure if you need 20 though it depends on how many banks or financial institutions she had accounts with and property she owned.
Life insurance if she had any would probably be found somewhere in her home or safe deposit box if she had one. I'm not aware of anyway to search for a life insurance policy, but others here may have some ideas. You could check her name on the unclaimed property list for your state which may produce info about any forgotten accounts. Start at
NAUPA
__________________
powerplay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 07:30 PM   #51
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,647
Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
I have another update to report and its not a good one. I had last posted on 9/22 that my wife and I were coming up with a game plan on how to talk to my mother about all of the issues that I brought up. We visited and brought her meals each of the following days. One day she looked pretty bad, the next she looked better, was holding a normal conversation and moving around with her walker.

On Monday 9/26 we went to visit and she was in very bad shape. She was disoriented and confused. She was having trouble breathing and couldn't sit up by herself. We brought her to the emergency room and without getting into details, she passed away yesterday. We found out that she had a very aggressive form of lung cancer which had also spread to her liver. She had pneumonia and a variety of other less serious issues.

Obviously I felt very guilty about the whole situation but the doctor has assured me that she wouldn't have survived much more than another week or two no matter what we had done. After talking to more doctors I now believe that she knew she had cancer and was either in denial or didn't want to worry us (or both) which is why she didnt tell us anything and why she didn't get the care she needed. My brother and sister are all here and we are doing OK emotionally.

This brings me to the reason for posting so soon after her death. I am the executor of her will and would love to hear any advice you all have for me. She will be cremated and all of those arrangements have been made. I have notified Social Security. I have a power of attorney to handle all financial matters (bank accounts, real estate ect).

I have some specific questions

1) Do I need to file the will somewhere?
In our state, one has to file the will with the court and qualify as executor. A procedural thing.
2) Does the will supercede the beneficiary info on her IRA. There are 4 of us kids and we are all listed 25% each on her IRA but her will specifically excludes one of her kids entirely and says that all of her assets should be split 3 ways. My brother who has been excluded is not here with us and has no idea what money she does or does not have. I dont expect him to cause a problem but if the IRA beneficiary is not superceded by the will I assume they will send his portion directly to him?
Account titling normally supercedes the will. But check with an attorney none the less. As executor you will have to let the beneficiaries know about the assets thru an "accounting" which is part of the probate process and filed with the courts. You will have to account for every penny....so keep good records. (i.e., the governments don't know that you don't owe them money unless it is documented - that sort of thing)

3) My mother has a 6 figure estate, but I believe there is no death tax since her estate is under a million?
That is correct. The Federal Unified Tax Credit is currently 5 million. Anything below that, there is no Federal DeathTax. However, you need to check to see if your state imposes a death tax. All states differ on this matter. You will have to file her 2011 income taxes ...both State and Federal. You will (may) also have to file the Estate Tax Return...whether she owes money or not. The government does not know what value your moms estate is. It has to be recorded/filed.

4) I dont think she has life insurance but is there some way for me to find out? Is there some registry somewhere that can check? I cant very well call every insurance company and ask.

Feel free to advise me on any other isse you know will come up that I probably havent even considered yet.
THe best thing to do is to contact your local court system. They will tell you what you need to do. You can also quickly search the Internet for responsibilities of an "Executor". This is not a quick "job". Courts typically have or retain the services of a local lawyer and whose title is something like a "Manager of Accounts"....to work on behalf of the court system when a death occurs.

Everything is As of the DATE OF DEATH....meaning account balances. That is the starting balance on the estate. If you don't have those records....you could start gathering the data. If there is a house involved, ask the court if you can proceed with an appraisal...etc. Anything spent will have to be accounted for.

So very sorry for your loss...utrecht.
__________________
sheehs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 08:34 PM   #52
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,268
I guess I dont understand why a court has to be involved in any of this. As long as I document everything and nobody contests anything why would a court care? My brother who is written out of the will may or may not find out that there is a substantial amount of money involved but I seriously doubt he will contest even if he does find out.

Also, another problem is that she hasnt filed tax returns for 2009 or 2010 and I have no idea how to handle that. Im pretty sure she doesnt owe anything as her only income was SS and a few small withdrawals from her IRA. She told me specifically that she was keeping withdrawals lower than whatever amount would cause her to owe federal income tax. She has numerous letters from the IRS asking her to file and asking for a number to contact her. I can call the IRS to ask what I need to do but Ive been thru her paperwork already and I dont have nearly enough info to correctly file her returns.
__________________
utrecht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 08:42 PM   #53
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
I guess I dont understand why a court has to be involved in any of this.
For the same reason cops ticket speeders: it's the law.

Maybe you should slow down just a bit and allow yourself some time to begin working through the loss of your mom. I'm sure the folks who are handling the funeral arrangements can direct you to whatever legal authority, if any, you need to contact.

My sincere condolences for your loss.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 09:05 PM   #54
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Quote:
utrecht
I guess I dont understand why a court has to be involved in any of this.
For the same reason cops ticket speeders: it's the law.
What law is that which requires wills to be probated?
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 09:18 PM   #55
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
I've learned some of this from watching my father probate his father's estate, and from researching the same with my father's estate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
I guess I dont understand why a court has to be involved in any of this. As long as I document everything and nobody contests anything why would a court care?
Regardless of your logic or your opinions, you should check with the court system to find out what the rules. You could argue the issue all you care to but I bet you still have to follow the rules. Every state is different, and you may even have county/locality issues. We don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
My brother who is written out of the will may or may not find out that there is a substantial amount of money involved but I seriously doubt he will contest even if he does find out.
In this situation, the IRA beneficiary designation takes priority over the will. In fact the custodian of the IRA will break up the account and disburse the assets in accordance with the beneficiary designation, and they probably won't even consult the estate executor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
Also, another problem is that she hasnt filed tax returns for 2009 or 2010 and I have no idea how to handle that. Im pretty sure she doesnt owe anything as her only income was SS and a few small withdrawals from her IRA. She told me specifically that she was keeping withdrawals lower than whatever amount would cause her to owe federal income tax. She has numerous letters from the IRS asking her to file and asking for a number to contact her. I can call the IRS to ask what I need to do but Ive been thru her paperwork already and I dont have nearly enough info to correctly file her returns.
You can download a copy of TurboTax 2011 (for 2010 year returns) right now, and it may even have the features you need to file a 2009 "prior year" return.

As executor you can obtain her Social Security benefits statements. When you notify her financial institutions of her death you can also obtain their 1099 statements for 2009 & 2010.

When you call the IRS they'll want the returns, of course, and they might even have already calculated her taxes from the copies of the 1099s provided to them by her financial institutions. Even if she owes no tax (or is owed a refund) there are still penalties for not filing a return.

You could get a CPA or a tax lawyer to assist you with the returns, but if the IRS quotes you a small amount due then it might not be worth the legal fees to contest the IRS's numbers.

After you're done with the IRS then you'll probably be repeating the exercise with the state tax agency.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 09:19 PM   #56
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
What law is that which requires wills to be probated?
Probate law
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 10:01 PM   #57
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
That's not much of an answer. Consulting the list of references that Google constructs, the very second one has this: "There are no laws that require probate." (info.legalzoom.com/wills-through-probate-4286.html)
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 10:04 PM   #58
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 6,418
Utrecht, my condolences.

Adding to what the others have said, don't forget state taxes. Even if the estate is below the federal estate tax limit, states have different rules.

As far as probate, I believe that if the estate isn't passing to a spouse and isn't in a trust, it's required to go to probate whether there is a will or not. It's to allow time for claims against the estate and other legal issues. It's a long and annoying task, and I wish you the best with it. If your mother had a will to make her wishes known, that should make it easier. Good luck.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers, or maybe Sam Clemens
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 10:10 PM   #59
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
That's not much of an answer.
It wasn't intended to be.

The point was to demonstrate how you can get answers to your questions without asking others to do it for you.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011, 10:17 PM   #60
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
It wasn't intended to be.

The point was to demonstrate how you can get answers to your questions without asking others to do it for you.
Well, you're the one who said earlier "it's the law". I knew that was wrong, so I didn't really need you to instruct me how to figure out that your earlier statement was mistaken. My mistake was being excessively polite.
__________________

__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone here trade options? utrecht Stock Picking and Market Strategy 264 05-25-2017 10:14 PM
Stock Options? Dr.Crusher FIRE and Money 16 01-14-2012 04:12 PM
Help with Utah Camping Trip Options TromboneAl Travel Information 20 09-25-2011 01:01 PM
RE in a cheaper country, problem in returning back to mother country landover Life after FIRE 33 08-27-2011 12:14 AM
So Worried About My Retired Mother Smith1974 Hi, I am... 20 08-15-2011 04:34 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:07 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.