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  1. #1
    Cindy44 is offline Junior Member
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    IS POD Account Considered Part OF Estate

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Missouri

    My mother recently passed away and I have just learned that my uncle was left a POD bank account with $300,000.00 in it. The will which was made in 1998 by my father (who is deceased) is vague and appoints my uncle as the excutor and states that all property should be divided equally between my sister and myself if my mother is not living, but does not give any guidelines about it is to be divided. Nothing was said about the bank accounts.

    We believe it is possible that this money was put into POD to my uncle recently after my mother's mind was affected by all the many medications she was on at that time. She was not of sound mind most of the time during the last few weeks of her life. We found out by accident that a lawyer visited the house but our uncle claims she was trying to take my sister and myself off the will, no doubt to leave everything to him. We believe he is not acting in our best interests and is trying to get all he can for himself. I do not believe my mother would have done anything like this of her free will had she not been under some type of influence.

    If the POD account was signed over to him at her death and it was done in 2005 after my father's death as my uncle claims, and not done the last few weeks while she was living, do we have any recourse or grouds to contest the POD left to my uncle? Also is this POD account money considered part of the estate and if so, shouldn't that money be divided equally between me and my sister?

    My parents have already given my aunt and uncle a great deal of money and benefits while they were living. They supported them completely the past 30 years and provided a house for them to live in while paying the taxes and insurance on the house and paid them a weekly salary for 30 year and never questioned what work was actually getting done. He took care of various little things and did some paperwork, but nothing that ammounted to much.

    In addition, my uncle has also asked us for a 10 acre peice of property for his services as the executor of the will. Also he has been able to write checks on their buisness account for the past 30 years without showing any kind of records as to where the money was going. He now has some valuable items in his possesion that he claims he is holding for us until the estate is settled but we can not have access to the items or my mother's house and he will not give us a key. How do we know he is going to produce all the items and not keep some for himself?
    Cindy
  2. #2
    HappyWanderer is offline Member
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    As a tax issue it's part of the estate, but as a distribution issue the POD designation will govern.
  3. #3
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    No, an account with a POD does not pass through probate. The will has no effect.

    You can contest it, but it's probably a tough case to make. And an internet forum really isn't the kind of place where someone can evaluate whether you have good grounds to contest or not. The best anybody can do is a "Maybe."

    You and your sister need to discuss this and the other issues with an attorney. Gather all the documentation that you can and then ask a few attorneys with probate experience for an initial appointment.
  4. #4
    Cindy44 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice. We already have an appointment with an attorney next week and will also be talking to the family attorney who at this point is the estate attorney.
  5. #5
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    Did your father have a will and was it probated in court? Was your father part owner of the business that this uncle is getting money from? You need to have your attorney look at how the business should have been handled after your father's death occurred and whether your father's estate has an interest in the proceeds of the business.
  6. #6
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    Your state has a legally permissible rate for executor compensation and you need to find out from your attorney what that rate is. Whether or not you and the heirs would want to give him the acreage he is asking for is up to you to decide.
  7. #7
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy44 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. We already have an appointment with an attorney next week and will also be talking to the family attorney who at this point is the estate attorney.
    Keep in mind that the estate attorney is retained by and works for the executor. He represents the executor, not you and your sister. If you bring up the possibility of litigation and if the attorney has any ethics, the conversation will end right there.
  8. #8
    Cindy44 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandy Don View Post
    Your state has a legally permissible rate for executor compensation and you need to find out from your attorney what that rate is. Whether or not you and the heirs would want to give him the acreage he is asking for is up to you to decide.
    My uncle has told us he would not charge a fee for being the executor but he would take a section of the land which we do not intend to give him if he is gets to keep the $300,000.00. My parents paid him 30 years for doing very little and after my father died 3 years ago, my mother continued to pay him a weekly salary. She often became frustrated because she could not see anything getting done and he was never in the office to answer the phone. He said he was doing paperwork from his house but yet he would never give her the records or what was being paid when she asked for them. He had full access to her business accounts and wrote checks from it. We have no idea where all the money went but now he is saying the buisness account is almost gone. He often got her to cash in a CD and then would put it into the business account saying he needed it to pay bills.

    Do we have a legal right now to ask for those past records to see where the company (and my mother's personal money) went the past 3 years since my father died 3 years ago?

    Also, my sister and I are almost certain this POD was assigned to him during the last 2 weeks of her life. Her mind was not sound the last few weeks of her life, probably due to all the strong narcotics and other drugs she was taking. This was the reason the doctor ordered her to go to a Hospice facility because her mind was so affected by the drugs she could not remain at home and make decisions. We believe this was the time my aunt and uncle got her sign over the account. We found out by accident they called a lawyer to her house within the last 2 weeks of her life while both my sister and me had to be away for part of a day. My uncle claims the lawyer came to the house because my mother wanted to change her will but nothing was done. We believe that is not the truth at all but he will show us the POD document and still claims she did this change in 2005 after my dad passed away and she was of sound mind.

    Now we feel it would be in our best inerest to have a different executor which we will ask our new attorney how to go about getting him out of this so at least we maybe get the other properties he has control of. He will not even let us in the house yet he has been going through everything. No telling what he has already found and if we try to take away the POD money, he would probably just not report a few valuable items that I know she had in her house.
  9. #9
    Dandy Don is offline Senior Member
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    If your mother or father had a financial/ownership interest in the business, then at their deaths the business was an asset that their estate had an interest in, so of course you are entitled to the records. Your attorney also needs to find out whether uncle had been granted a signed power of attorney by either of your parents while they were alive.
  10. #10
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    He will not even let us in the house yet he has been going through everything.
    if he is the executor, he has the right to sequester the house. In fact, it is his duty to do so as he can be held liable for the losses incurred should he fail to do so. Have your attorney deal with this and request an inventory, presumably with him present or some party without a vested interest in the inventory. The sooner the better if you are concerned about missing property.


    No telling what he has already found and if we try to take away the POD money, he would probably just not report a few valuable items that I know she had in her house.
    You appear to have a bigger problem with uncle than mom and dad did. They paid what they did. They didn't have to and could have stopped it. They didn't yet you seem to be upset about it. While things may not be all on the up and up, you really seem to show a great deal of anger for your parents actions. If the transfers were legit, then that is what your parents wanted to do regardless what you believe.

    if the POD was acted upon recently, yes, you could and probably should investigate any action taken if mom was not in control of her mental faculties but also realize that it may be as simple as: the money now belongs to your uncle.

    Bottom line: you need your own attorney to protect your interests and investigate any questionable activities.

    Dandy Don If your mother or father had a financial/ownership interest in the business, then at their deaths the business was an asset that their estate had an interest in, so of course you are entitled to the records. Your attorney also needs to find out whether uncle had been granted a signed power of attorney by either of your parents while they were alive.
    ownership allowing access? maybe, maybe not. Depends on how the business was structured and what is defined as ownership interest.

    financial interest allowing access? maybe, maybe not. Investors have limited rights so depending on how the business is structured and exactly what the financial interest is, you may or may not have any rights to the business records.



    Bottom line: these are questions only your attorney can really provide answers to. He/she will be able to view the entire situation and act accordingly. You couldn't hardly present enough facts here to make any true determination and really, it wouldn't matter what was said here anyway.

    .
  11. #11
    Cindy44 is offline Junior Member
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    [Bottom line: these are questions only your attorney can really provide answers to. He/she will be able to view the entire situation and act accordingly. You couldn't hardly present enough facts here to make any true determination and really, it wouldn't matter what was said here anyway.

    .[/QUOTE]

    Thank you all for your helpful replies. We will be speaking with our attorney this Thursday. We did speak with the estate lawyer by phone conference, and he said he would get the document with the date the POD was assigned to our uncle.

    And yes, we are both surprised and hurt that our parents would leave our uncle all of their liquid assests when they had given him so much already the past 30 years. My sister has stuggled on one income since her husbands death, while they allowed my uncle to spend all the company money (most likey over 2 million plus). The company account now contains less than one thousand although there was a personal account which will probably all be used within the next few months to keep up the property until it can be sold. They had no bills and my father retired after making money in stocks, and I know my mother had very little expenses since my father's death. Everything was paid for.

    It's not that we are upset because they left him so much of what was left of the estate, but that he keeps asking for more and in doing so has lost our trust completely. He is supposed to be acting our best interest as executor not trying to get all he can from the estate.

    We think it is possible the POD account was left to him to pay any remaining bills at the time of their death and what was left to be divided between my sister and I, but of course, we could never prove that was their intentions. We know that unless the POD was assigned in the last few months of mother's life, he will inherit what was left of the money. We also want to protect the remaining cooperate assets.
  12. #12
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    He is supposed to be acting our best interest as executor not trying to get all he can from the estate.
    this is where you are wrong. His duty is to administer estate according to the law. Your best interests have nothing to do with that.


    We think it is possible the POD account was left to him to pay any remaining bills at the time of their death and what was left to be divided between my sister and I, but of course, we could never prove that was their intentions
    I suspect your parents were more savvy than that as that is not how one would assign an account so as to be able to pay the business of the estate. A POD account simply transfers to the beneficiary on death of the account holder. They cannot attach strings to it. If your parents wanted you to have the money, they would have left it in the estate and willed it to you. The debts of the estate come directly from the estate so the transfer as it was would not reasonably be seen as for the reason you suggest.

    and their intentions have no binding control of the account. It is presumed their intentions are what they wrote in the will and how they dealt with their assets, in writing.

    to the corporate assets: again, depending on how the company was structured, you may or may not have any control of the company.

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