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Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34497
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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Is there a way to freeze a CD in Florida after the primary

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Is there a way to freeze a CD in Florida after the primary account holder dies?
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide you excellent service.

Before we begin, a bit more detail would be helpful please.

Do you mean restricting the access to a CD by a surviving account holder? Is this a joint account with survivorship?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Judge Law,

I am the POA and Executor of my 98 year old Uncle who lives in Florida. Over the last couple of years, he removed a family member and added a neighbor/friend to one or two of his CDs and set up the CD as POD. I'm not sure why my uncle made these changes and/or if any inappropriate influence was exerted by the neighbor. Since I live in New Jersey and it will take a bit to sort out my Uncle's recent changes, would like to prevent the neighbor from cashing in the CDs until I can retain an attorney to handle the probate etc.

Thank you for the additional details.

Is your uncle still alive?

If he is still alive, have you asked him why he is making these changes?

Have you attempted to contact the Florida Attorney General or social services to report possible elder abuse?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My Uncle is still alive but is failing rapidly. After he made these changes, I did ask why he was undoing many decades of estate planning to now leave a substantial portion of his estate to this neighbor. He responded that it was none of my business. I don't suspect elder abuse. But I do think the neighbor has taken advantage of my uncle emotionally. I would tell you that up until three years ago, my uncle never would have considered leaving his estate to anyone outside his family. I simply want to delay the neighbor from being able to cash in the CD until I can ascertain whether inapprorpriate influence was exerted by this neighbor. And if so, pursue a larger legal action.

Thank you for the additional information.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you, but I believe I have information which you will find helpful.

The probate court would have authority to put a hold on the account if so ordered by a judge. It would be difficult, however, as the neighbor only needs a death certificate to withdraw the funds, but if the executor claims the funds as part of the estate then the court could put a hold on the account until a determination is made.

The estate does not need to freeze the account, though. It can sue the neighbor for fraud even if the account is closed. The court could enter a judgment, if the estate prevailed, and the estate would force the neighbor to pay back the funds.

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Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would there be any value in going to the banks where the CDs are held and ask them to freeze the CDs until we can obtain a judgement from a probate judge?

Thank you for following up with me.

Since your uncle is living, the bank will not allow you to access his accounts without a court order. Even with a POA, the bank is going to want some sort of confirmation from your uncle.

However, if you contact social services they may take emergency action if they believe your uncle's neighbor is currently defrauding your uncle.

Otherwise, you will need to wait until you are named executor by the probate court to take any action on your own.

I hope this helps clarify my answer.

Thank you.

Loren and 3 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Judge Law.

Just one last question. With a POA in hand, will my uncle's banks be willing to confirm the names of the account holders on a CD or checking/savings account? My uncle uses ten banks for his various cds, and we would at least like to be able to find out where his assets are located and whose names are on the CDs.


Thank you for following up with me.


As a technical matter, yes, if the POA specifies access to bank accounts then you should have proper authority to obtain information and you can make the request.


However, I will tell you that, in my experience, banks can be "resistant" about it. Often, they will insist on their own POA form being executed before the information will be released. That would, obviously, require your uncle's cooperation.


They usually have a couple of reasons. First, the account agreement would specify that the bank's forms are required for any POA or other authority. Second, the bank would want to be released and indemnified for any privacy claims from the principal (your uncle, in this case).


I hope this answers the question.