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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/no-i-didnt-set-it-up-that-way-she-was-alive-at-12232741.aspx

Subject:  Re: Joint Account w/ Expired Relative. Date:  3/19/2000  8:40 AM
Author:  hghcpa Number:  32105 of 121341

No, I didn't set it up that way; she was alive at the time.
Had an account with my mother, mostly for convenience and bill-paying if she reached a point where she couldn't handle her own affairs. Well, she reached that point and subsequently passed away. I went to the bank and withdrew most, but not all, of the balance. Now that I have my tax form filled out I'm wondering if the IRS will come and get me. For tax purposes, the account was listed under her name first. She lived entirely on Social Security, and never made enough that she had to file. I'm not kidding, she lived on less than $9000/year, but had this savings account of $10000 or so.
The source of the money was mostly me, when I paid room and board to her in my earlier years.
So now most of the money is out of that account and frankly spent on paying off my credit card debt and other not-very-exciting-things like house repairs.
The question is: am I doomed? Will the IRS set upon me like ducks on a junebug?
Please don't scare me too bad! Break it to me gently...
Thanks,
Margaret. (Packing in case I must flee the country.)

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It sounds like the account had a "right of survivorship" option whereby at her death you the account became yours.

If the account was set up otherwise it would have either been totally or partially "frozen" by the bank until her willwas probated.

Assuming option one to be the case - you should not have to worry about any tax consequences other than reporting the income earned on the account on your personal return.

Pete
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