My sister had durable poa 6 hours before my moms death. She went to bank withdrew the pod account that my mom wanted me to have. I have original pod account paperwork that I was sole beneficiary and have in writing that in case she died I could go to bank with death certificate and get that account!!
Is the only way to get my pod is to go through probate cause she refuses to give that money? I got the house on with joint tenancy and transfer of title upon death. Could probate change that transfer of title and take house from me? She also says there was no will and my mom talked about will every week. My son and wife and me saw will on several occasions. Why would they [my sister and my mom’s husband and attorney] not want to go through probate?
ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:
Any asset that is jointly owned or held as a payable on death account avoids probate and is not governed by the will. Therefore, if all of your mother’s assets were held in that fashion (joint tenancy or POD), then all of her assets will pass outside of probate to its beneficiary.
As for your sister closing the bank account, she did that under the power of attorney? The question is where did the money go? She may have engaged in self-dealing, which is a violation of her fiduciary duty. You should consult with an attorney because if she pocketed the money and then immediately spent it (say on a vacation) and she doesn’t have any other assets, then you will not be able to recover the money. Also, be aware that if the account was small, the legal fees may outweigh the reward. You do have the option to report your sister for elder abuse if she took the money and did not spend it on your mother.
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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.
The elder law attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for estate and asset protection planning. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.