How long can you wait to freeze an investment account once someone dies?

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2012

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How long can you wait to freeze an investment account once someone dies?

My brother died 3 monthsago. Several years ago he gave our father permission to manage his investments. My brother’s wife just received the death certificate. My father has been making trades on my brothers account and does not want to freeze the account as yet to transfer it to my brother’s wife. He wants to continue making trades. Is this legal? No funds have been withdrawn.

Asked on February 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It seems that your brother gave your father an oral power of attorney to management his investments. Under the law of all states, such a power of attorney (assuming it was legal) ended upon your brother's death.

If your brother had a Will or tust in place when he passed, then the document might say something as to whether your father can continue to make the trades he has been making. If the documents do not give him the authority to do so, then the father should cease making the trades.

It is not a question of legality but rather what is appropriate under the circumstances and under your state's Probate code.

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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