How do get my mothers affairs in order before she dies?

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How do get my mothers affairs in order before she dies?

My mother has stage 4 lung cancer with only months to live. I am trying to get her affairs in order before she dies. She has a handwritten Will. I am her only child and heir. My name is on her trailer, car and bank accounts (less than $30) She has not filed taxes since 2000. Should I file her taxes now? Will her property and accounts automatically transfer to me? If she owes taxes, will I be responsible to pay them?

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The first thing that I would have her sign is a medical power of attorney as well as a general power of attorney allowing you to care for her health care needs as well as her business needs. Have an attorney prepare this for you and her.

I would then get her tax returns in order for filing while she is still alive. I would then have all of her accounts placed in your and her names as joint tenants. A joint tenancy account automatically passes to the survivor without the need for a probate.

If your mother owes taxes, you will not be responsible for their payment personally. Her estate will. I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney further about your situation. Good luck.


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