Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

My aunt passed on Feb,2013...a living trust took care of her home when sold the proceeds went into the trust). However, in her IRA account a sum was left to her son who died 2010. There is no provision for disbursement of this sum. Am I correct in asuming the sole surviving sister would be entitled to this sum? Or, if she declines, would this amount be under intestate rules and divided equally between 2nd generation nieces/nephews? Or does that sum automatically be included with the living trust? Do I need to file a claim for this money(to date my cousin, the executor of the trust, is being very cagey with information).

Asked on 6/15/13, 12:42 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Scott Jordan Dunning Law Firm

I am sorry for your recent loss.

Did your aunt's son have any children? If none, the trustee will need to file a claim for the IRA money. The money, when disbursed and after taxes are paid, then becomes property of the trust and is disbursed based on the terms of the trust.

Otherwise, probate will need to opened before the monies can be disbursed from the plan administrator. The monies would then go to the sister. If she declined, the monies would be disbursed to the 2nd level heirs.

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Answered on 6/17/13, 10:40 am

William Christian Rodi Pollock

Your first issue is to determne what the IRA documants say. If there is no living beneficairy, usually the assets are distributed to the decedents "estate". If there is a pour over will, the assets will perhaps be probated then go to the trust.If not this means it would be governed by the decedents will, if any. If none, the asset may go by intestacy. You need to talk to counsel. If there is an attoreny for the estate, inquire there. This gratuitous response does not create an attorney client relationship. The advice provided herein is generic, may not apply to your circumstances and is not to be relied upon in your actions. An attorney client relationship is created only upon execution of an engagement letter hiring me or my firm.

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Answered on 6/17/13, 11:04 am

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