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Successor trustee access to our financial accounts

How can we make it...

How can we make it easier for whomever might become a successor trustor, health care POA or executor of our estates especially if we become incompacitated and need someone to supervise our medical care. Our legal residence is in California but we are often only in the US about 3-4 months per year. - Using a separate GMAIL account, provide the Username, Password & Security Questions in advance (in case the password XXXXX changed.) - change the email for all of our financial accounts to that GMAIL address - Documents within that GMAIL/Drive/documents/spreadsheets accessible by the same username/password XXXXX on one spreadsheet, list of the associated websites, account numbers, security questions in a separate spreadsheet. OR I could email, postal mail or deliver that information to your firm. However, since we have no idea how long it might be before we need assistance, the passwords will probably have been changed. -MEDICAL documents such as copies of our Health Care POA, AHCDs, medical insurance information, Long term care policy, a list of our medical providers/contact information, recent labs, medical history etc We are updating our pourover wills, Joint Revocable Trust, health care POAs & Advance Health Care Directives. It is extremely important to me to make it as easy as possible for any successor trustee or POA to help us especially if we become incapacitated. Is it true were if we died in a common disaster, some of the legal/court/CPA filings need to be begun within six month for tax advantages to our estate. Thanks

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Answered in 9 hours by:
7/19/2013
PDtax
PDtax, CPA, MBA
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 4,772
Experience: Tax professional and business consultant for 35 years.
Verified

PDtax :

Hi from Just Answer. appointing someone to have power of attorney is generally a legal matter, but I can discuss the basics of the process with you.

PDtax :

Having a POA established on accounts can be done with your attorney, and will allow the formal documents needed for various tasks to be centralized for dissemination when needed.

PDtax :

Some try to do this informally, by naming a POA on bank and brokerage accounts, etc. This can work, but has a limited value. Health care decisions can't be made by someone named on your checking account as an authorized user.

PDtax :

Best is a consult with your attorney, who can prepare the documents needed in your state.

PDtax :

Thanks for asking at Just Answer. If I can offer specific follow up, please ask.

Customer:

I am hoping to figure out the best way to streamline our finances so a potential temporary or permanent successor trustee, healthcare POA, or executor (should my spouse & I be in a common accident and one of us unable to be executor of the other's will.

PDtax :

Got it. The easiest way would be to consolidate your cash and investments in one investment house, like Schw** or other brokerage, and establish POA on each account with the POA of your choice. Most people select their attorney or CPA to administer, since they have ethical responsibilities and licenses.

PDtax :

You could also consider executing a 'springing trust' that activates upon incapacity, and that has your POA already established. Your attorney can explain the concept in more detail, but the springing trust 'springs to life' upon the occurrence of a life event. Authority is established, and documents can be executed well in advance, to keep your POA out of your affairs until such time as assistance is required.

PDtax :

Thanks for asking at Just Answer. I'm PDtax.

Customer:

Thanks. We opened a have a Schwab account several years ago but have yet to put funds in it.

Customer:

We currently have 9 bank accounts (for various reasons mostly because some of our income sources will only deposit to those banks and we are not in the US often enough to be sure the checks get deposited. So we have nearly everything on auto deposit. We have Bank of America checking & credit card accounts only because they have a branch near us and in many US cities. The other banks are smaller. My husband had 1.8M in debt (from his prior wife's terminal illness and other reasons). I opened many credit card accounts over the past years for the balance transfer offers. I am uncertain about the advantages of closing many credit card accounts. Most credit cards are with BofA, Citi, Chase etc.

Customer:

The credit cards we currently benefit most from are Chase Marriott & Citi for AAdvantage American Airlines Miles. I am considering cancelling American Express Hilton Honors in October.

Customer:

The only balance on the credit cards are recent charges since the are all set to automatically pay in full each month.

PDtax :

First, I have to give you credit for having a plan and sticking to it. Most people can't or don't face these issues until it's time, and that's when things get dicey.

PDtax :

I am afraid I have given you all the answers I can on the subject. I have advised you to consolidate your affairs, to name your POA now on at least some accounts, and/or to create a springing trust that would take dominion of your assets and finances, ostensibly with the POA fully appointed to manage things, when a life event occurs of your selection. Those steps are all I can suggest.

PDtax :

The choice of POA, be it a close friend who may not have financial training, your CPA or attorney, is yours, as is when you want to involve them in your affairs. Since they should be paid for this effort, you may want to delay their participation until needed, or involve them now with things like passwords, lists of accounts, how you set up auto payments and transfers, etc.

PDtax :

Thanks for asking at Just Answer. Please decide on the few issues that may still need decisions, and consult your professional for the actions you wish them to take for you. Don't forget positive feedback for my work. Thanks. I'm PDtax.

Customer:

Thanks. All the legal matters have been and still are in place. The possible successor trustees include a CPA firm etc.

PDtax
PDtax, CPA, MBA
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 4,772
Experience: Tax professional and business consultant for 35 years.
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PDtax
PDtax, CPA, MBA
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 4,772
4,772 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Tax professional and business consultant for 35 years.

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