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069: What We Can (and Can’t) Do with Bank Accounts After Death

Absolute Trust Talk

Release Date: 08/10/2021

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The last thing grieving family members want to think about is money. Making preparations with your finances should be at the top of that list to help relieve your loved ones of any added stress when the time comes. But, you might think, what’s the big deal? It’s just an account that holds my money. That may be true, but did you know that a bank will freeze a person’s account when they hear of a death? This means that your loved ones won’t have access to funds to pay for things like the funeral and burial. On top of that, any automatic payments will bounce. Unfortunately, this can take a lot of time and money to fix.

In this episode of Absolute Trust Talk, Kirsten sits down with fellow Absolute Trust Counsel attorney Madison Gunn to discuss:

  • What happens to bank accounts after death
  • The different types of accounts
  • Who can access the account
  • How to protect them from being frozen
  • Why they should be included in your trust

The age-old saying goes something like, “You can’t take it with you when you go,” but you can work with your estate planning attorney to avoid complications for heirs and all those involved in settling your trust and estate. So, grab a pen and a notepad, and press play with us. 

Big Three from Episode #069:

  1. Assets that total $166,250 or more, will trigger probate. So, leaving a bank account out of a trust is okay as long as it doesn’t bump you over that total.
  2. If you are not the executor of an account, do NOT try to access it or use funds. It is illegal.
  3. Want to ensure that your assets are protected? Make sure your trust and estate are up to date with ALL accounts and assets.

Time-stamped Show Notes:

0:49 – Clients planning for the future know that they should have a trust and that their bank accounts should be in the trust, but why exactly is this true?

1:59 – Did you know that this is the amount that an estate has to be worth to trigger probate?

3:47 – Your Power of Attorney is good if you’re still alive or incapacitated, but this is what happens when you pass away.

5:20 – Someone has died and you’re still accessing their bank account, is this illegal?

6:04 – Who is able to access an account when someone passes away?

9:56 – Kirsten and Madison discuss the different types of bank accounts you can have.

17:28 – What happens if someone dies and the only asset, they have is $1,000 in their bank account?

19:25 – If you are the person that has Power of Attorney, can you access and use the account to help cover funeral costs or costs associated with opening probate?

20:34 – If you have Power of Attorney, should you notify the bank that the person has died?  

22:18 – As the executor of someone’s bank account when should you close it?

[Ad] Planning for the future is vital to ensure that you and your family are protected and prepared throughout your later years of life and beyond. Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule a free discovery call today, and we’ll review your case to make sure all your needs are met.