What to do when the owner of a money market account dies?

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What to do when the owner of a money market account dies?

My mother just passed away last week and all of her assets are in one money market checking account that totals 15K. There are no major outstanding debts (a few to follow up on such as 1/2 months rent for this month and a few small other items totaling maybe $1K). My wife is/was my mother’s POA and I am the executor. I have a family member that works for the organization that manages the aforementioned checking account and they are telling me that it needs to be closed immediately and the funds distributed to beneficiaries. Can my wife and I keep the account open for 30 days and pay these few outstanding bills as they come in and then just write 3 checks to the 3 beneficiaries and close the account at that time?

Asked on May 15, 2014 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Just so you know a POA dies with the person for whom it is enacted so it is no longer in effect.  If you are the Executor then you can have these funds placed in to an estate account to pay bills then distribute the net proceeds (assets minus debts paid).  You should look to see if you can do this via small estate laws in the state since the amount is minimal.  Good luck.


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