Moorefield, WV asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for West Virginia

Q: What happens to funds from an inheritance check, made out to the principal of a POA, that was deposited into POA account

As my grandmother’s POA, If I opened a savings account, solely in my name,

(to be used for her medical expenses/personal care items)

& deposited an inheritance check made out in my grandmother’s name; what happens to the funds remaining in account after she passes?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: I would caution you against depositing a check made payable to your grandmother into an account that is in your name. That will look very much like theft or conversion. And that is the case even if you really only do use the money for your grandmother’s benefit. It is very risky for you.

You should deposit the funds into an account in your grandmother‘s name with yourself registered on the account as her attorney in fact. That will give you the ability to write and sign checks.

The disposition of the funds in your grandmother‘s account after she passes depends in part on whether or not she has a will. If she has a will, then it should pass

according to the terms of her will pursuant to a probate process. If she does not have a will, then there will probably still be a probate process, but the funds will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession.

As your grandmother’s attorney in fact, you might be able to designate a death beneficiary for her bank account, but I would caution you not to disrupt her estate plan. If she has a will, then the beneficiaries of the account should match the beneficiaries of her will.

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