Q&A: Whether to close elderly mom’s CDs

Dear Liz: I have the power of attorney for my 92-year-old mother, who has dementia. She has numerous financial accounts including money market, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit. When she passes, would it be easier to settle her estate if I start closing her CDs now and put that money into, say, her money market? I am the sole beneficiary for all of this.

Answer: If your mom has multiple accounts at different institutions, then consolidating those accounts now can save time and hassle later. You’ll want to review the rules for FDIC insurance, though, to make sure her accounts would remain adequately covered.

There’s probably less urgency if all her accounts are already at the same institution and under FDIC limits. Closing CDs prematurely could mean losing some interest, which may not make sense unless she urgently needs the money.

If you haven’t already, consider checking in with an estate planning attorney who can give you suggestions about what you can do now to ease the transition later.

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