Frozen Bank Account?
Here is a scenario that could easily happen to your Executor.
Your Executor, your daughter Jennifer, has some bills to pay that have been incurred in finalizing your estate, but when she goes to the bank to withdraw funds, she is told that the account is frozen. She doesn’t understand. “There’s plenty of money in that account! Why can’t we just take some out now?” But the bank is firm. No money can be paid out.
This exasperating situation is becoming increasingly common. Banks have always had the power to close bank accounts of a deceased person, even joint accounts in very specific situations. But in the past, money was often released to an Executor to help pay bills such as funeral expenses, utilities, and costs incurred in settling the estate. In fact, most banks had someone on staff trained to help grieving families with estate affairs, and even provided guidance about probate and other administration requirements.
Today, because of mounting risks of litigation, banks are refusing to make any moves until the Will, account information, and all related estate paperwork has been sent off and thoroughly examined by legal experts in their central estate department, a department that may not even be in the same city.
Jennifer would be left with an uncomfortable choice. She can use her own credit card to pay the bills, or she can take out a line of credit from the bank, the accompanying high interest to be debited from the estate.
With your Legacy Plan, this frustrating problem is solved. Unlike a traditional joint account, the cash you put into your Emergency Fund will cover your estate’s immediate expenses, cannot be frozen by the bank, and your funds bypass probate. This is a supremely sensible move in times when fear seems to motivate our every decision.
Your legacy may not change the world, but it will prevent fear and resentment from gaining ground, at least in Jennifer’s heart.