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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36371
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My mother in law just passed away. I have been her financial

Customer Question

My mother in law just passed away. I have been her financial Power of Attorney. I am also executor of her Will. She is quite wealthy which means I will be too. She prepaid all of her funeral expenses but there is about $1500 short. Can I write a check on her account if I have the papers showing I am her Power of Attorney. Can I do it with the will naming me executor. I wrote the check early today when when she was still alive, but she passed at 5;30PM before I could get it deposited. I am an Orthodox priest living in a monastic community therefore take a vow of poverty. There is enough money that she could probably buy the funeral home. I have one check written to the cemetary for opening the grave and anohter to pay for flowers.
JA: Can you tell me what state this is in? And just to clarify, what paperwork has been filed?
Customer: I live in Centralia, Illinois, mom was in Champaign, Illinois. The Will and the Power of Attorney is in my strong box and for the past couple of years the bank has accepted my signature on all her checks. The Will also names me as the executor of all her assets.
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: A notarized copy of the Financial Power of Attorney completed by a lawyer in 2009 along with her will naming me as the executor and giving me permission to take care of any outstanding bills or taxes on her properties.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have the checks ready to deposit in my bank with the notations that they are for grave opening and closing, for expenses for the visitation, books, and obituary. I dont want to deposit the checks if they are going to bounce because I am writing it on my personal account.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 month ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 month ago.

Here if you are on the accounts you can keep on writing checks .If you are just the POA here you need to wait until probate is opened and you are appointed by the court and given your letters testamentary. With these letters you can then convert these to estate accounts with an new EIN for the estate.

I would consider a local lawyer here to get probate opened.There is a real risk here the checks and account get froze if they know she died and you are not listed on the account as a signatory rather than just using the POA.Honestly I would go inside to the bank and see if they will honor them.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 month ago.

I would go to bank in person here and ask.IF you are on the account personally as a signatory you can keep on banking.If you were just using the POA you will need to open probate and be court appointed as executor and will admitted to probate.You want to do this asap and get it going.You will need the lawyer to make application and to help you get an EIN number.Once appointed bank will let you use EIN number here and convert these to estate accounts.

You can then pay claims, taxes, gather assets, and then when done transfer the assets to yourself as sole heir.Likely you are going to have to open probate to access funds and checks here as the POA ceased at death.

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Please ask if you have more follow up.Thanks again.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 month ago.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is always much appreciated.