VI: Getting ready for the old folks

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This is the last article about the Sunday Friends program at the Crosby Memorial Library regarding what we all need to know concerning getting older, a lot older. Today we will look at the benefit of transfer on death agreements and how you can get the most out of the Sunday program. Again, I’m not an attorney so what I say here is my individual understanding and may not be totally correct. That’s why you need to come to the program on Sunday.

The moment you pass on, your power of attorney becomes null and void, your healthcare directive clearly is no longer of use, so your last will and testament becomes active and your executor/executrix takes over. But how does he/she get access to your funds to pay outstanding debts and final expenses? Well, if all your assets automatically flow into your estate, and the estate has to go through probate, he/she may not have sufficient access to act as you would have acted. You can, however, use a technique called pay on death or transfer on death that will transfer your savings, checking, and/or stock accounts to an individual(s) of your choosing. The individual(s) designated are not owners in any sense while you are living, but become owners individually or jointly as you have specified by showing the institution your death certificate and their proof of identity. There is no limit to the number of accounts you can treat this way, and it can give your family access to considerable funds that no longer need to go through probate.

Did you know that access to a bank safety deposit box is limited to those whom you have authorized prior to your passing? Once gone, your power of attorney is null and your box will be sealed until your executor/executrix gets a court order to access it from the Probate Judge. Just one more item to consider.

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Now we will look at the organization of the program and how you can get the most out of it for you.

Attendees should assemble in Holland Hall at the Goodyear Blvd (South side) of the Library building starting around 1:45 p.m. Sunday. We will have handouts listing the subject matter experts. The program is organized so that each subject matter expert introduces themselves with a short 10-minute talk on their specialty in Holland Hall. Then they return to their table in the main library to continuing talking to individuals about specific situations. Beginning at 2 p.m., attendees are free to listen to the presentations or go directly to the table(s) that interest them. In meeting with our experts, it may be necessary to wait your turn. You are always free to return to Holland Hall to listen to the presenters in between consultations.

Remember, while I have covered the essentials that apply to nearly everyone, I have not talked about hospice, or first to die insurance, or special considerations when traveling long distances. These subjects and more will be covered at the program.

The program is expected to take three hours, but because of the diversity of subjects and number of experts we are prepared to go longer if attendance is high. Light refreshments will be served and everything is free. This special program is just one of the many ways the library gives back to our citizens. Who else but the Friends of the Crosby Library could or would put on such a program? So, don’t miss it! Mark your calendar and planner and iPhone. Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Crosby Library. See you there!

And a special thank you to the Picayune Item for providing so much space so that we could get the word out to so many of you who might not have known about it.


Clifford Holland