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Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question

Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27025
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I live in Illinois and my husband is in hospice at home. We

Customer Question

I live in Illinois and my husband is in hospice at home. We have been married for 34 years and I have a durable power of attorney and a will. All of our banking accounts as well as the house are in both names. I work full time and my husband gets a disability payment every month. Do I need to change over all of the accounts to just my name berore or right after he passes?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

JD 1992 :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

It would be much easier if all of the accounts and the home were "Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship".

JD 1992 :

This would prevent the need for most probate.

JD 1992 :

The bank can advise you on how to change the accounts there and you would want to get a local lawyer to do the deed work to change the ownership of the property.

Customer :

Is this something I need to do before he passes?

JD 1992 :

Yes, otherwise it all has to go through probate. The bank accounts may already be that way, you would need to ask and see.

Customer :

The reason I mentioned disability is that I am worried that the government would freeze the joint account-is this possible?

JD 1992 :

It is possible but not likely.

JD 1992 :

What is more likely if the accounts are set up correctly is that the bank locks the account until you get an order from the probate court.

Customer :

I will contact the bank now but where do I find out if the home is in Joint Tenacy with Right of Survivorship-it is a standard mortgage

JD 1992 :

sorry, if the accounts are not set up correctly

JD 1992 :

It would be on the deed. Get an attorney to review it ASAP and make the changes. Deeds are rarely set up like that but it is pretty simple to correct.

JD 1992 :

Did you have additional questions?

JD 1992 :

I apologize but I have to go offline for about 20-30 minutes. If you have additional question just post them here and I will pick up as soon as i return.

Customer :

I will find the original deed for the land-we purchased it and built our house-also I will check the wording on the mortgage.

JD 1992 :

Sorry about that, I'm back now.

JD 1992 :

The mortgage papers probably won't tell you what you need to know but the deed would.

JD 1992 :

You want everything to be either JTWROS (Joint Tenant with Right of Survivorship) or for you to be named as beneficiary.

JD 1992 :

The less you have to do in probate court the better off you will be.

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