Should Mom's bills be paid first before my sister takes possession of her bank account?

2 answers | Last updated: Oct 18, 2016
Twd300z asked...

If my mother had a large bank account with my sister's name and in trust (itf), shouldn't Mom's bills be paid before she takes possession of the account? She helped mom pay her bills.

Expert Answers

Your question concerns paying estate bills before an inheritance is distributed. Specifically, you state that you mom has a large account" with my sister's name and in trust (itf)..."

I'm unclear what type of account your Mom has. I don't know what "itf" means. Is the account in a bank trust or in a pay-on-death form? I gather that the account is not in joint tenancy with your sister, because you state that the account is in trust.

However the account is held, your mother's estate is responsible for paying her bills after her death. A person has the right to specify, in a will or living trust, how his or her bills are to be paid"”what resources are to be used for payment. It seems unlikely that your mother has so specified any specific assets to pay her bills. Therefore all of her property would be responsible for payment. If the (trust) bank account is your mother's major, or even only, significant asset, the bills would have to be paid from that account. But if your mother has two or more substantial accounts, or other significant assets, it isn't clear which resource wold be used to pay her debts.

I suggest that this is a matter you, your mother and your sister clear up while your mother remains alive, if you possibly can.

Community Answers

Geo2015 answered...

Naturally, the expert is right... the estate is expected pay your mom's debts. Although there are some grey areas within that answer, as far as what assets should be used, as the expert indicated. It sounds like your sister is looking to spend some of the money in the account mom set up for her, on some specific items... possibly on some important items that can't wait? At least it sounds like there is possibly some urgency there. A lot of heirs in the same position borrow against their inheritance when there is an urgent need for immediate cash, look around for inheritance advance rates or inheritance loan fees... for substantial probate cash, a probate loan, inheritance advance or inheritance loan, or even a probate real estate loan, or probate advance or inheritance advance loan or perhaps a super fast 72 hour estate loan of some kind. A lot of heirs look for the lowest inheritance advance rates online from probate loan or estate advance firms like, or, or maybe from one of the newer probate loan or estate loan companies like, or similar inheritance advance loan niche or boutique inheritance loan firm. It usually funds within a few days, and at least there is no compounding interest or piles of paperwork like with personal bank loans. So it's a lot faster, and easier, and the probate cash can be paid off from your inheritance when probate closes.