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  1. #1
    Jgn1230 is offline Junior Member
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    florida executor took bank accounts and did not report them to probate court

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

    florida executor took bank accounts and did not report them to probate court because they were joint titled between the deceased and the executor.

    The executor did report taking the monies to the beneficiaries.
    We were told that the monies were taken as a repayment of a debt between the deceased and the executor.
    When I asked the executor to provide backup of how the debt was accumulated I was given an accounting by the executor that was missing insurance company reimbursements that would have paid for the debt. I found out from the insurance company that the estate was paid reimbursements.

    I requested from Estate's attorney that I as a beneficiary be shown tax returns, bank statements during the years before death that the debt was incurred. I was told by the Estate's attorney that the information I am seeking was outside the jurisdiction of the probate court.

    I also want a report of any other bank accounts at time of death, but because I am not an executor I cannot search for them

    How should I proceed?
  2. #2
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jgn1230 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida

    florida executor took bank accounts and did not report them to probate court because they were joint titled between the deceased and the executor.

    The executor did report taking the monies to the beneficiaries.
    We were told that the monies were taken as a repayment of a debt between the deceased and the executor.
    When I asked the executor to provide backup of how the debt was accumulated I was given an accounting by the executor that was missing insurance company reimbursements that would have paid for the debt. I found out from the insurance company that the estate was paid reimbursements.

    I requested from Estate's attorney that I as a beneficiary be shown tax returns, bank statements during the years before death that the debt was incurred. I was told by the Estate's attorney that the information I am seeking was outside the jurisdiction of the probate court.

    I also want a report of any other bank accounts at time of death, but because I am not an executor I cannot search for them

    How should I proceed?
    Obviously, you have no right to anything before death occurred absent a subpoena on a valid court case. Even then, it might be quashed; depending on what the underlying claims were. How would insurance reimbursements pay for a debt? What do you mean here?

    If you are so motivated and feel there is wrongdoing, you need an attorney. See what he thinks. I don't see anything obviously wrong here but accept there could be many facts that could quickly change my mind.
  3. #3
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    In Florida a bank account held as JTWROS is not an estate asset. It belongs to the survivor.
  4. #4
    Jgn1230 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    Obviously, you have no right to anything before death occurred absent a subpoena on a valid court case. Even then, it might be quashed; depending on what the underlying claims were. How would insurance reimbursements pay for a debt? What do you mean here?

    If you are so motivated and feel there is wrongdoing, you need an attorney. See what he thinks. I don't see anything obviously wrong here but accept there could be many facts that could quickly change my mind.
    The Exector paid for long term care. I found out the executor was reimbursed from the deceased long term care insurance policy, but she lists the monies paid for long care as a debt of the deceased and doesn't list the monies paid back from the insurance company while the deceased was alive.

    The executor has indicated to the beneficiaries that certain joint owned bank accounts were taken by the executor after death to pay back the deceased debt to the executor. The debt was not reported to the probate court, but a slip shod accounting of the debt was given beneficiaries.
    Last edited by Jgn1230; 12-15-2013 at 04:40 PM.
  5. #5
    Jgn1230 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHRoadwarrior View Post
    In Florida a bank account held as JTWROS is not an estate asset. It belongs to the survivor.
    Are you a Florida Lawyer?
    So the beneficiaries are not entitled to know the deceased banking assets at time of death if they were joint owned between the deceased and the executor?

    The executor became the joint owner with deceased to write checks for the deceased before death because the deceased was incapable of writing checks.
  6. #6
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    So the beneficiaries are not entitled to know the deceased banking assets at time of death if they were joint owned between the deceased and the executor?
    Maybe... maybe not. I don't know Florida law on what must be included in the probate estate inventory. Some states require that non-testamentary assets be included in the inventory. Some don't. Those that don't require it are probably in the majority.

    But this seems to be a moot question since you said earlier that the executor informed the beneficiaries anyway.

    The executor became the joint owner with deceased to write checks for the deceased before death because the deceased was incapable of writing checks.
    The presumption is that the deceased intended for the accounts to pass to the other owner by survivorship. That presumption is rebuttable if you can obtain clear and convincing evidence that the deceased intended otherwise. If you want to challenge the survivorship, I suggest retaining an attorney with probate litigation experience.
  7. #7
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jgn1230 View Post
    The executor became the joint owner with deceased to write checks for the deceased before death because the deceased was incapable of writing checks.
    there is no need to become a joint owner for the purposes of writing checks but if they did, regardless of anything else, once the one joint owner dies, the remainder belongs to the other joint owner. Probate just has no business in that business as it is not a probate asset.

    as anteater said; there might be some possibilities available to contest the joint title to the accounts. One of which would be elder financial abuse. No idea if that is even close to be the situation you are in but if a person expressed undue influence to get them to "share" their accounts, it may be seen as fraud which would change a lot of things.



    The Exector paid for long term care. I found out the executor was reimbursed from the deceased long term care insurance policy, but she lists the monies paid for long care as a debt of the deceased and doesn't list the monies paid back from the insurance company while the deceased was alive.
    Is this debt being listed as a debt owed to the executor (as an individual) or some other entity?
  8. #8
    Jgn1230 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    there is no need to become a joint owner for the purposes of writing checks but if they did, regardless of anything else, once the one joint owner dies, the remainder belongs to the other joint owner. Probate just has no business in that business as it is not a probate asset.

    as anteater said; there might be some possibilities available to contest the joint title to the accounts. One of which would be elder financial abuse. No idea if that is even close to be the situation you are in but if a person expressed undue influence to get them to "share" their accounts, it may be seen as fraud which would change a lot of things.



    Is this debt being listed as a debt owed to the executor (as an individual) or some other entity?

    The executor did not list the debt with probate court. The debt is with executor's company of which the executor is president. The executor took the funds from the deceased joint owned account and told us the beneficiaries
    That the funds were taken to repay the debt. The funds taken less than a month after death and 18 months before probate was filed
  9. #9
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    It sounds like they embezzled estate money from the long term care insurance by claiming the expenses reimbursed. Consult a probate attorney locally.
  10. #10
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHRoadwarrior View Post
    It sounds like they embezzled estate money from the long term care insurance by claiming the expenses reimbursed. Consult a probate attorney locally.
    I'm not so sure that this is the case since the OP glides so easily between what may have taken place before death and what has happened during administration of the probate estate. And what the executor did as a private person versus what the executor did as the fiduciary of the probate estate.

    All the stuff about paying long term care expenses and reimbursement from the insurer seems to come from this attempt by the executor to justify retaining the funds in the joint accounts. Which isn't something that the executor had to do, except, possibly, if the right of survivorship were to be challenged by the beneficiaries.

    To my reading, joint account with right of survivorship vs. "convenience account" is the real issue. But I will add that this "accounting" of the "debt" as justification for the transfer of the jointly-owned funds appears to be a possible tacit admission that the joint accounts were, indeed, convenience accounts.
  11. #11
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    In the end, op doesn't actually have a claim or argument for the money in accounts unless the joint ownership was gained through improper means. If the beneficiary got paid twice, that is between the insurance company and the executor and his company. None of op's business.
  12. #12
    joeklick is offline Junior Member
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    Another thing to check is to ask the bank if the executor had a bank account. Usually they can at least tell you yes or no. They may also confirm or deny if the executor was a joint account holder. Be sure to have a death certificate, proof or your id, and maybe proof that you are an heir.

    If the accounts were joint and everything is legal then the executor probably has control over those assets. However, if the executor was not a joint account holder as claimed this wonderful sole may have kindly submitted a Beneficiary Disclaimer on your behalf. A disclaimer is usually a single piece of paper with a beneficiary's name, SS#, date-of-birth, signature, and legal wording requesting that they be removed from the beneficiary list. If the disclaimer is accepted the money will then go to the decedent's estate and controlled by the executor. If a disclaimer exits then ask for a copy and inform the police department where the crime (forgery/fraud) occurred.

    I would recommend talking to an attorney.
  13. #13
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    whether the executor had a bank account, as an executor, would be available through probate court. Whether the person that is serving as executor has a bank account is something the bank has no business telling anybody.
    .

    However, if the executor was not a joint account holder as claimed this wonderful sole may have kindly submitted a Beneficiary Disclaimer on your behalf. A disclaimer is usually a single piece of paper with a beneficiary's name, SS#, date-of-birth, signature, and legal wording requesting that they be removed from the beneficiary list. If the disclaimer is accepted the money will then go to the decedent's estate and controlled by the executor. If a disclaimer exits then ask for a copy and inform the police department where the crime (forgery/fraud) occurred.
    say what?

    Since there is an executor, there is no need for this document as the executor has the authority to act as the decedent in controlling the account. In fact, the various accounts a decedent has are often consolidated into an "estate account" which the executor uses to pay expenses and distributions of the estate.

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