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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55715
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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Mom died and in her Will she divided estate among 4 daughters.

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Mom died and in her Will she divided estate among 4 daughters. Her investment acct is not divided equally. Can Mom's executor legally override investment distribution amounts but instead send 100% of proceeds to Mom's estate so it complies with the even 4-way split per the Will?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Can you tell me a bit more about this investment account? Is it a tax-deferred account? Did it have named beneficiaries in the event of death?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It is a retirement account. Yes in the account it names all four daughters as beneficiaries . The amount per beneficiary is uneven and we think our Mom made a mistake. She always told us that everything is divided evenly. We want to know if we can override the disbursement listed on the investment and instead send the full amt to the estate for distribution?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Did u get my reply?
Thanks for your reply. The custodian of the account has no authority to do this absent the consent of all four beneficiaries listed on the account. Furthermore the executor only has authority over probate assets...and assets that have designated beneficiaries go directly to those named beneficiaries outside the probate process and outside the will and the authority of the executor under the will. So, all 4 daughters would have to agree upon an even distribution of the retirement account assets among them. The other alternative would be to contest the beneficiary designation based on lack of requisite mental capacity, fraud, duress, coercion, and/or undue influence. The burden would be upon you to prove this and it's, unfortunately, a difficult burden to overcome. But, as I mentioned above, the 4 of you can among yourselves decide to reallocate the division of the assets in any way you choose.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you the executor had the authority to simply override the beneficiary designation, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
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