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    pastor1189's Avatar
    pastor1189 Posts: 1,538, Reputation: 3
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    #1

    Apr 16, 2014, 05:38 AM
    Credit Card Debt
    An elderly widow is encouraged to pay off her late husbands
    Credit card debt which was in his name only. They may attach monies
    left by the husband. But can they attach her social security income and
    her late husband's life insurance
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,130, Reputation: 1307
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    #2

    Apr 16, 2014, 08:56 AM
    They can't go after the widow's assets unless she was on the credit card account, and social security is automatically exempt from collection. As for life insurance - laws vary by state, but typically a certain amount of the death benefit is exempt from collection. You mention that they can go after monies he left, but she should be aware that if there was a joint checking account they can go after that.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #3

    Apr 16, 2014, 10:04 AM
    Any debts in his name should be paid from the proceeds of the estate. If there is insufficient funds in the estate then inform the creditors of that fact. Her SS is safe. Life Insurance proceeds should go to her outside the estate.
    Anoni Mouse's Avatar
    Anoni Mouse Posts: 15, Reputation: 2
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    #4

    Apr 18, 2014, 07:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem View Post
    Her SS is safe.
    "she should be aware that if there was a joint checking account they can go after that."

    If this is true (I'm not sure it is. I would assume the interest in the checking account extinguishes on death, but I don't know) then she better not comingle her SS funds into the joint checking account!
    pastor1189's Avatar
    pastor1189 Posts: 1,538, Reputation: 3
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    #5

    Apr 19, 2014, 03:04 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Anoni Mouse View Post
    "she should be aware that if there was a joint checking account they can go after that."

    If this is true (I'm not sure it is. I would assume the interest in the checking account extinguishes on death, but I don't know) then she better not comingle her SS funds into the joint checking account!
    Thanks so much
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #6

    Apr 19, 2014, 05:30 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Anoni Mouse View Post
    "she should be aware that if there was a joint checking account they can go after that."

    If this is true (I'm not sure it is. I would assume the interest in the checking account extinguishes on death, but I don't know) then she better not comingle her SS funds into the joint checking account!
    You assume incorrectly (as you have on other occasions). It depends on how the account is titled. If it is right of survivorship, then yes, the account goes to the survivor upon death. But if its not, then the account becomes an asset of the estate and is attachable. We pride ourselves on the accuracy of the advice we give here. Please don't guess when you don't know.

    But you do make a valid point about commingling funds.
    pastor1189's Avatar
    pastor1189 Posts: 1,538, Reputation: 3
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    #7

    Apr 19, 2014, 07:14 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem View Post
    You assume incorrectly (as you have on other occasions). It depends on how the account is titled. If it is right of survivorship, then yes, the account goes to the survivor upon death. But if its not, then the account becomes an asset of the estate and is attachable. We pride ourselves on the accuracy of the advice we give here. Please don't guess when you don't know.

    But you do make a valid point about commingling funds.
    All the financial accounts have the wife as beneficiary. Would that be
    The same as survivorship?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,086, Reputation: 10852
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    #8

    Apr 19, 2014, 08:31 AM
    In death or divorce the onus is on one party to handle their business correctly. That mean getting facts immediately and restructuring quickly. If you are unsure of whether an account is subject to liability, and or court proceedings you go immediately to find out and close it before any outside influence is attached.

    Its all subject to local laws and jurisdictions any way, so do your business before a lawyer for any interest can do theirs. You are in a better position of leverage negotiating with creditors when they have no frozen assets to use, and nothing of yours in the other parties name. Few surviving spouses exercise the simply right to dispute any claim or any amount, after closing all accounts of the deceased. Joint, or NOT. Handle your business first, mourn later.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #9

    Apr 19, 2014, 08:55 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by pastor1189 View Post
    All the financial accounts have the wife as beneficiary. Would that be
    The same as survivorship?
    No a beneficiary is different. A beneficiary may not even be a joint owner. In fact, if there is a right of survivorship, there is no need to name that person as a beneficiary. Since its implied.
    pastor1189's Avatar
    pastor1189 Posts: 1,538, Reputation: 3
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    #10

    Apr 19, 2014, 09:36 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottGem View Post
    No a beneficiary is different. A beneficiary may not even be a joint owner. In fact, if there is a right of survivorship, there is no need to name that person as a beneficiary. Since its implied.
    Very interesting. Regarding right of survivorship, on a broad front could that be done by a will ? Or better yet
    how can this be accomplish?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #11

    Apr 19, 2014, 10:02 AM
    Right of survivorship is in the title of asset. It is usually done when the asset is acquired or opened. But title can be changed. It is specific to that asset and causes the asset to be passed to the survivor outside the estate so its not subject to probate.

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