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

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2011

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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