If my mother passed and as her POA I liquidated her assets with my name on all of her accounts, what processes do I need to take before the estate can be distributed?

She had no outstanding debt other than the social security monies that need to be returned. Her living Will designates the balance of her assets be distributed equally between her four children.

Asked on September 16, 2013 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I need to explain something to you.  There is a very important distinction here that must be pointed out.  A POA is not valid after the death of the principal - your Mother.  Your powers under that document died with her so you would not have the power to liquidate assets after her death.  Only the Personal Representative of the estate could do that. But here you state that your name was on the accounts.  If you were listed as joint owner then the legality of what you did is not in question.  She had no assets when she passed.  But she may still have had to pay taxes, etc.  It is too difficult in this forum to determine how you need to proceed.  I urge you to pay a consultation fee to an estate attorney in your area.  Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I need to explain something to you.  There is a very important distinction here that must be pointed out.  A POA is not valid after the death of the principal - your Mother.  Your powers under that document died with her so you would not have the power to liquidate assets after her death.  Only the Personal Representative of the estate could do that. But here you state that your name was on the accounts.  If you were listed as joint owner then the legality of what you did is not in question.  She had no assets when she passed.  But she may still have had to pay taxes, etc.  It is too difficult in this forum to determine how you need to proceed.  I urge you to pay a consultation fee to an estate attorney in your area.  Good luck.


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