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Bank Accounts And Death


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A friend of mine keeps encouraging me to go get another account for myself in case my husband were to die because she has several friends who lost their spouses and their account was frozen for up to 90 days while their will was sorted out. She says that happens because our state is a community property state. My husband and I have joint accounts and that doesn't seem right to me, but she insists that her friends had joint accounts and couldn't access them.

Does anyone know anything about this?

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There shouldn't be any trouble with joint accounts that have the right of survivorship. But check with whatever attorney made your will (or go look at the original paperwork setting up your accounts to see how it passes after death: a bank officer will be able to tell you).

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Thanks! My friend is pushing to take me to her credit union to get me signed up. It will make her feel good to feel like she is doing something to help me, but I probably won't even use the account. :)

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Thanks! My friend is pushing to take me to her credit union to get me signed up. It will make her feel good to feel like she is doing something to help me, but I probably won't even use the account. :)

If you do set up an acct., you should put at least $300 in it "just in case" of emergency. My dh and I always had separate accts... when we got married I just kept my acct.. It wasn't joint, but it was set up that if anything happened to me he had access (would that have been "right of survivorship?") We each had certain things we paid each month for the household budget. I didn't have to worry about what the checking acct bal was... I just took care of the things I was responsible for (smaller monthly bills, etc) and he took care of the big items (car, insurance, mortgage, etc). It worked for us... I worked full time and if I wanted to spend a few extra dollars for something personal I didn't have to worry about it or ask him for funds. I either had it or I didn't.

GG

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A friend of mine keeps encouraging me to go get another account for myself in case my husband were to die because she has several friends who lost their spouses and their account was frozen for up to 90 days while their will was sorted out. She says that happens because our state is a community property state. My husband and I have joint accounts and that doesn't seem right to me, but she insists that her friends had joint accounts and couldn't access them.

Does anyone know anything about this?

A joint account is just that a joint account and can be accessed by either of you. I have never heard of any trouble with them for the account holders. However I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV so to be safe contact one. A simple phone call should do it.

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Thanks! My friend is pushing to take me to her credit union to get me signed up. It will make her feel good to feel like she is doing something to help me, but I probably won't even use the account. :)

Don't set up an account you don't need. Service charges can run from 60 to 100 dollars or more per year and can be just one more avenue for identity thieves to get you.

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If you do set up an acct., you should put at least $300 in it "just in case" of emergency. My dh and I always had separate accts... when we got married I just kept my acct.. It wasn't joint, but it was set up that if anything happened to me he had access (would that have been "right of survivorship?") We each had certain things we paid each month for the household budget. I didn't have to worry about what the checking acct bal was... I just took care of the things I was responsible for (smaller monthly bills, etc) and he took care of the big items (car, insurance, mortgage, etc). It worked for us... I worked full time and if I wanted to spend a few extra dollars for something personal I didn't have to worry about it or ask him for funds. I either had it or I didn't.

GG

In the banking world I think it is called POD (paid on death) to the individual named in the account papers.

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Thanks! My friend is pushing to take me to her credit union to get me signed up. It will make her feel good to feel like she is doing something to help me, but I probably won't even use the account. :)

Is there any incentive beyond altruism for you to go to the Credit Union she uses?

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Is there any incentive beyond altruism for you to go to the Credit Union she uses?

I thought about getting the account if she was correct about the issue. She paid her friend's bills while her account was frozen, but I don't know if her friend truly had a joint account. She thinks she did. She keeps bringing the subject up. People do love the credit union and there aren't any fees, so maybe it would benefit us in some way, but I don't really want the hassle.

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Don't set up an account you don't need. Service charges can run from 60 to 100 dollars or more per year and can be just one more avenue for identity thieves to get you.

Good points! :) This place doesn't have any fees, but identity theft would be a concern.

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No, she wouldn't be on the account. There are certain requirements to get a membership there and she thinks she can get me one. She's pretty stubborn. :lol: It took me years to convince her that there are free antivirus programs that work well. She would run out of money, her subscription with Norton would end, and then she would have a virus again. She's almost 60 and very set in her ways, so whatever situations her friends dealt with, maybe things were different back then or she didn't get all the facts. From what I was reading, if my husband dies, I will have to show his death certificate ASAP, have the account switched to just my name, and new checks printed out with my name, but I don't think I will lose access to it completely. I just can't imagine all grieving spouse being treated that way. I wonder if there are more complicated circumstances where accounts are frozen?

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No, she wouldn't be on the account. There are certain requirements to get a membership there and she thinks she can get me one. She's pretty stubborn. :lol: It took me years to convince her that there are free antivirus programs that work well. She would run out of money, her subscription with Norton would end, and then she would have a virus again. She's almost 60 and very set in her ways, so whatever situations her friends dealt with, maybe things were different back then or she didn't get all the facts. From what I was reading, if my husband dies, I will have to show his death certificate ASAP, have the account switched to just my name, and new checks printed out with my name, but I don't think I will lose access to it completely. I just can't imagine all grieving spouse being treated that way. I wonder if there are more complicated circumstances where accounts are frozen?

If it is not a joint account the spouse could be refused access unless there is a Pay on Death attachment and then one would probably need the death certificate. However, in a community property state a joint account there should be absolutely no problem. I was thinking on this and I think I have a client that had a joint account and didn't change it for four or five years after he died. Her Social Security and retirement checks were automatically deposited and she just wrote checks as she always had. I just don't see the need to create another account to worry about.

Now if you have more than FDIC will cover then put it in an investment. :db:

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This article mentions the concern.

Clearing up things should be as simple as presenting the bank with a copy of your spouse's death certificate and having the account switched to your name only. You will also need to have new checks printed up with your name on it.

It is really simple to find out, just ask your bank.

Edited by ERayR
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... Now if you have more than FDIC will cover then put it in an investment. :db:

How would it be? :huh:

;):D

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Now if you have more than FDIC will cover then put it in an investment. :db:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! :lol:

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Clearing up things should be as simple as presenting the bank with a copy of your spouse's death certificate and having the account switched to your name only. You will also need to have new checks printed up with your name on it.

It is really simple to find out, just ask your bank.

Yeah, just ask the bank... and tell your friend, firmly, that you don't want to set up another account... that you have taken care of things.

One of the nice things about living in a small town, and doing business with the same bank for years... they know me by name. And from time to time I've taken advantage of special promotional offers (low interest, etc) when I wanted to do something like a home improvement. Then when I can access my main investment funds, I transfer enough to pay off the bank. The cost to do this is minimal, and I can do what I want when I want.

GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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Yeah, just ask the bank... and tell your friend, firmly, that you don't want to set up another account... that you have taken care of things.

One of the nice things about living in a small town, and doing business with the same bank for years... they know me by name. And from time to time I've taken advantage of special promotional offers (low interest, etc) when I wanted to do something like a home improvement. Then when I can access my main investment funds, I transfer enough to pay off the bank. The cost to do this is minimal, and I can do what I want when I want.

GG

In giving this a little thought what is far more worrisome to me is whether the investments are available to both.

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Lucky for us, we don't have any investments. :crazy:

Thanks, everyone. :D

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Lucky for us, we don't have any investments. :crazy:

Thanks, everyone. :D

Being well-off carries with it its own set of challenges ... or so I hear. ;)

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I've heard of troubles people have had with this... I don't know if such will be the case now days, but it's probably just good to ask the bank people whether or not you would be able to access it if your husband died.

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While I recommend that everyone keep some money in a separate account. It does make getting and keeping personal credit cards easier. In California Community Property laws allow for the bulk of joint monies to be in a joint account.

After the death of my father. My mother and I put my name on her accounts. So it was no problem when she died to pay all her remaining debts, and close out the accounts.

Edited by thesometimesaint
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