Did my sister remove me as a beneficiary from my mother’s traditional IRA plan in Florida right before my mom passed? Sis had POA over mom that would make my sis primary beneficiary.
ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:
If you call the company that is holding the funds and it won’t speak with you, then you aren’t the beneficiary. Your sister had a fiduciary duty to your mother to handle her assets in her best interest and not to self-deal. If she breached that duty, you can challenge the change of beneficiary. However, it is not something on which you can sit. Once the money is distributed to your sister, it will be much, much harder to get the money back. She’ll have the inheritance money to pay legal fees and you won’t. We once had a case where the judge ruled that the sibling needed to give the money back, but she had already gambled it away.
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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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The estate administration and estate planning attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for estate planning, probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.