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My RANT about financial institutions
His Daughter
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2016 12:09 AM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2270


Ok, I know this is off topic.  But for anyone who has had to be the personal representative on an estate.............did you actually live through the experience???

I am ready to scream, beat my head on the wall, and RANT.  Holy moly, if I thought taking over as the Durable Power of Attorney was bad..........this is a super close second.  And what makes it so awful is I should be allowed to grieve, not fill out forms till my fingers bleed.  I swear, someone needs to make this a little easier.  

(And what makes this so ridiculous is that I am very good with finance and had things well organized to make it all easy. Ya right.)   


jfkoc
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2016 10:46 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20920


I guess we dodged this by putting everything into a trust with me as trustee. I was already DPOA. All I have had to do is get some things like the USAA insurance put under my name. Also contact SS. Is there something I am not aware of? Please let me know.
His Daughter
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2016 6:02 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2270


jfkoc,  

It is really different when you are the spouse.  Much easier.  

But for me.........holy heck.  Financial institutions throw up road blocks every step of the way.  Every company wants different things.  Some of them won't even talk to you, or answer any questions until the paperwork is in.  (Even though I am on their records as the Durable Power of Attorney and have been for years.)  But now all that ends, and they won't talk to me all over again.  

Just even re-routing my dad's mail to my house is horrible.  Who knew that financial institutions put a strip on their envelopes that won't allow their mail to be forwarded.  And then when I tried to change the address on his accounts with the bank, they told me that wasn't allowed by law.  Even when I am sitting there, with my court order showing me as the Personal Representative on his estate, his death certificate and my ID.  Nope.  They won't even do that to help me.   So how do I get all those 1099s to do my dad's final taxes?  Had to run back to the post office today and try to undo forwarding the mail to my house.  UHHGGGGG.  It's a never ending battle.  

 


socwkr
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2016 6:32 PM
Joined: 10/6/2012
Posts: 924


It's crummy for spouses as well.  My husband had a small savings account, maybe $500 was there, and I had a POA to transfer the money into our joint checking account.  The attorney at the bank refused to accept the POA because she said that my husband's signature was different from the one that was on their bank card.  That POA even had the stamp of approval from our county clerk.

What???  Everyone, and I mean everyone knew us for decades at that bank.  And of course, his handwriting was different.  It was 20 years later, blindness, age.  I thought to myself:  there are rules and then there's a way that you treat people.  

So, what did I do?  I knew the car of the branch manager.  I waited until she went to lunch.  I went back into the bank and the teller transferred the money. 

I now tell people all the time to check with their banks because they might have their own POA.

Good luck!  Debra.


jfkoc
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2016 6:36 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20920


Wow...I guess I have some things to add to the blessing list. Please do post these problems on the other forums to that if possible they may be avoided.
His Daughter
Posted: Friday, January 15, 2016 9:19 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2270


socwkr,  Holy heck that sounds exactly like my experience.  The illogic of it all is simply dumbfounding.  And they constantly hide behind things like, it's against the law.  Since when?  What and WHO does that bank think are going to handle this paperwork?  My dad?    It wouldn't have made me so mad if it weren't for the fact that I was sitting there with a court order showing that I am the Personal Representative.  Seems they get to ignore what they want, and make rules for everything on their own terms.
socwkr
Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016 12:21 AM
Joined: 10/6/2012
Posts: 924


I am no fan of banks.  Here's two more stories:

I was really late a few years ago with our tax return.  However, if you're receiving a refund, the IRS gives you a few years to file.  The problem is that because we were so late with the filing, the IRS will not do a direct refund into your checking account; they will only send you a check.  So, I receive the check, and it's written out to me and my husband.  I didn't think it would be an issue because my husband's Social Security check was deposited directly into my checking account.  Medicaid would not allow him to have a checking account.  When I went to deposit the money into the checking account, I was told that it was TD bank's policy not to deposit an IRS refund check that was made out to two people into one person's account.  I showed them the POA.  I told them that my husband's SS check, a US government check, was being deposited into my account each month so why not the IRS return.  Nope, it was bank policy and they weren't going to do it.  I called Wells Fargo and asked them if they would deposit the joint check into my account if I opened up an account.  Wells Fargo said "yes"  so that's what I did.

As if that wasn't enough of a reason to close out my account my TD bank, here's the straw that really broke the camel's back:  when my husband died, TD bank shut down my bank account without my knowledge.  I couldn't make a small withdrawal to buy groceries.  Why?  Because the holder of the account died.  What?  I told them that the Social Security check that was being deposited and now being taken back by SS belonged to my husband, Dickson Singleton.  The account belonged to me, Debra Singleton.  

I actually asked the bank employees at my local TD bank how they could fall asleep at night knowing the angst that they were causing people.

Take care, Debra.


bela
Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016 5:42 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


My understanding is that POA ends at death- as trustee I am able to do all the financials.
socwkr
Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016 11:01 AM
Joined: 10/6/2012
Posts: 924


Bela, hi.  All of this bank and IRS stuff was going on while my husband was alive, and I had a POA that was filed and stamped by the county clerk!  
Take care, Debra.

bela
Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016 2:03 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


I have heard tese horror stories regarding banks many times; I'm so sorry you must go through this! 

Its the last thing anyone needs after losing a loved one.!  


His Daughter
Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016 8:57 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2270


Debra, I swear I need to print these stories and take them to my bank.  This behavior of banks is simply ridiculous.  They should be ashamed of themselves!!    They had no right to close your account.  They have no right to close the account of someone who has died!!   That is the sole responsibility of the Personal Representative for that person estate.   Just who in the world do these people think they are?

Bela, that it exactly right about the POA.  I jumped through every single hoop for satisfying the needs of every institution with my DPOA.  (And boy it was a hassle!)  I was Dad's POA for years, these people knew me.  But the minute my dad died, all that went out the window.   Yep, again, no one would even talk to me.  So great, finally the court order comes, showing that I am the Personal Representative on his will.  Court ordered and stamped.   But even that doesn't seem to mean much.    I've had it with banks and financial institutions.  They could care less about the customer.   

   


bela
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 1:57 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


I do "get" what you describe His Daughter-gosh.  It's a real wake up call.   -for example, why don't attornies know a bank does not honor POA and other things? I have heard of others who have had your experience.  There is a big problem if you did what you were directed to do as the right things to do legally only to discover years later, once a death has occurred that none of it is working- And grieving...no one needs these difficulties after we have just lost someone we love.  I'm so sorry this has been such a mess for you.

This disease further complicates matters  because by the time many family members get their LO diagnosed (and realize there is a serious medical issue) the LO might be incompetent to take the legal steps, or they are in a stage where they believe someone is trying to steal from them so they refuse legal advice or the drafting of legal documents (and a variety of other scnerio problems)

This disease seems to lead many family members desperate because they must acquire expensive guardianship because the ill person is unable to participate in the drafting of normal POA and trust, executor of a will etc pre planning.
When my mom was brought by me to live with me she was diagnosed at stage 5.  She was going to have to have surgery near me since my sister wouldn't speak to me.  Surgeon strongly recommended getting POA quickly as mom's hernia was huge and there was the potential for complications from surgery.
Elderly people in many cases don't understand the ins/out of POA, trust wills, in fact I didnt uderstand it either; as you probably know there are many different types of trusts- I had to educate myself quickly and trying to educate mom was near to impossible-luckily mom
understood the importance of putting my name on her bank account- what a life saver that was.

 First attorney- I did most of the talking because I am the one who did all the research-in short he said I don't think I can draft the POA or trusts info as your mother does not appear to know what was going on! OMG- I wanted to scream, cry and crumble into the earth.  My heart was racing, I nearly panicked but I had to gather myself to drive mom and me home- I had to feed her and then begin the search again for an attorney-I don't know how I survived those days.

She knew what was going on generally speaking but the law stuff is simply too complex for the average person to understand let alone a vulnerable elder or someone with early stage AD  (and mom's AD was not early stage) 
A second attorney was recommended by a friend- it's s if she had Alzheimer training and education- she was entirely ethical, spoke to mom privately to ensure I wasn't coaching or coercing mom.  She spoke in the most succinct but elementary language that my mother could understand (and me too) - although i wasn't in their private meetings I witnessed how she interacted with my mom when we met jointly. My heart was sick at the thought of what mom was telling the attorney and that we wold again be turned away Luckily, we got everything done.
I often wonder how we survived all the complications related to this disease......shear exhaustion on too many front-

 

What is your book going to be about?
Keep us posted.


 


bela
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 2:03 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


Oh yes.  Rerouting the mail was daunting so was  shutting off phones, water etc, .....(we were paying for these services and it was becoming clear mom would never return to her home)

There were two post office forms one does X and the other does Y-thank gooddness the person i spoke to explained the pros and cons of each- we made the correct choice- It was a permanent address change and fortunately no questions were asked when I handed them (and not mom) the completed forms- I'm surprised I didn't have a heart attack during these years!

I think we can agree that we flew by the seat of our pants, felt lost in a dark place or worse.  That is how I often felt.

I learned quickly that when I needed to do phone things to just say I was my mother....

Blessings to you

TTYL


bela
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 2:48 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


OMG I just went to the caregivers board and there were two people who had to get guardianship- one person said (paraphrasing) we didnt get POA in time

Caregivers need so much help and direction...

None of this explains why your documents are not working at the bank! I hope we can get answers for future reference


canuck
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 8:12 PM
Joined: 7/30/2015
Posts: 82


>I learned quickly that when I needed to do phone things to just say I was my mother....<

Online banking through a joint account works, too.

I share your frustration, HD. I will be so relieved when the paperwork is finished!!

 


bela
Posted: Sunday, January 17, 2016 9:10 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


I was my mother on the phone too!  One does what one must do to get some jobs done.
Lesley Jean
Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 4:54 PM
Joined: 2/13/2013
Posts: 2965


Yes, the POA ends the moment a person dies.

I have had so many problems with both my mom and Jerry. I am still fighting VOYA for the money she left me. I am ready to scream. Every time I turn around, they want more paperwork. They had my name spelt wrong…Leslie not Lesley. They blamed my mom. Right! She doesn't know how to spell her own daughter's name. I believe it happened when ING was taken over by VOYA.  I had to get a notary to sign that I am me and my name is spelt LESLEY. Now, they want other papers filled out for taxes. 

I had so many problems with USAA. Jerry had two accounts, one Soc Sec and Veterans Affairs. I was the fiduciary for the accounts. But, they froze everything and then Soc Sec and the VA took everything out of the accounts. It took them almost 2 months to give me the money back. It was a good thing I had money our Navy Fed account. But, USAA did not stop payments, as they said they would. What a mess!

Then the Navy messed up on our wills. They put our 2 sons as the executives. I was supposed to be the executor on Jerry's and he on mine. No one caught it. So, the boys had to sign over the executor to me. Now, I have to go to the Court of Clerks, next week, to be made the administrator of the will. Then I can proceed with the law suit for wrongful death, malpractice and neglect. 

UGH! It will never end!

LJ

 


anib
Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 5:02 PM
Joined: 7/29/2014
Posts: 217


Hey There, first may I say, the Dash was wonderful.

  I had to laugh when I saw your post...and it wasn't a funny laugh. Like I said before, I really really thought I had my ducks in a row.  The year after my dad passed 2010, my mom and I went to one of the CU's and had his name taken off all accounts, well they said it was a done deal...come to find out two of the accounts were still in my dad's name..talk about a pain.. So here I go documents in tow, it took 4 tries, a letter from the lawyer, to close them out.

I had sent in the paper work to the VA on my mom's life insurance policy, to put it in the name of her trust. (My dad had been the original beneficiary), well they couldn't find it anywhere.  So Even though I told them he had passed in 2010, was no longer getting his federal retirement, that it should be on record, that I had a receipt from the certified mail I had sent it...Did not matter, finally got that straightened out. So then they sent me the forms, I filled them out, sending one out to each of my siblings for their share....well the guy sent me the wrong paperwork.  Another letter, more forms, more trips to the bank...the government does not send out paper checks anymore... so glad gas prices have dropped!

Oh and the utilities...come to find out, at least what the phone guy told me.  It is now a Federal Law that if you get utilities forwarded to your own home, you have to send in a death certificate. WHY WHY WHY...

As for her checking account, of which my name was on also, they didn't want to close it out (snotty lady) that took 2 tries. Even though my face was the only one they had seen the past five years.

Can they make crap any harder?????

As for taxes..I can't say I am looking forward to that.  Mom passed in September, and I am getting the last of her accounts closed out still....So I have learned to smile, and do what they ask, get the paperwork that they ask.  It is the only way to get anything accomplished..if they only knew what I was saying under my breath!!!

Signing off with only half a head of hair left!!! Ann


Oceanbum
Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 9:14 AM
Joined: 3/11/2012
Posts: 433


I will have to say my Dad made everything very easy for me. When my Mom passed away he had me added as a signer to all of his accounts - checking, savings, & his safe deposit box. That way if anything happened and he was unable to pay the bills, I could step in and do it for him. I attended meetings with him with his Financial Advisor concerning his annuities & they were set up in a Family Trust with me as the Trustee. He also made me the sole executor of the estate, as well as medical & financial power of attorney. So when he was in the hospital I was able to make all of the decisions for him. Luckily he could make the decisions. All I had to do was sign the papers on his behalf. So when he passed away the plan was already set in motion. I just had to step in and start the ball rolling. 

I worked for years as a bank teller. I know that banks have very strict laws and regulations over EVERYTHING. But when it comes to death accounts they are very, very strict. It's not to give survivors a rough time at an already difficult time. It's to protect the deceased from "unscrupulous" family members who may try to get to the funds quickly while other family members are still in mourning. Trust me - I have seen it happen. I have seen family members appear in the bank the day their loved one died trying to withdraw ALL of the funds, whether they are a signer on the account or not. And trying to clean out the safe deposit box. All BEFORE the bank is even notified of the death. Very sad.

 


Peter5
Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 3:35 PM
Joined: 5/30/2013
Posts: 1194


Thanks for the "heads up" on some of these issues.  It is so helpful.

One of the most effective things I've found, in managing my own accounts, my wife's accounts, joint accounts, and even my parent's accounts is to set up on-line banking/access for each account.  You most likely have all of the sensitive information you need to do this.  It can be done completely on-line.  You never have to deal with the bank in person, present POA's, etc.  You may not be able to do everything you need to, but this does allow you to transfer funds to new accounts or existing accounts that are more convenient or expedient for you to use. 

You can't close an account, but if it has a zero balance for a couple of years, the bank will automatically close it.  No paperwork, no hassle, no frustration.