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“BUT MY HUSBAND LEFT ME EVERYTHING IN HIS WILL, WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS IRA?”

I received a call from a sad second wife. She was mourning the loss of her husband and the loss of her money. Before he died, her husband executed a valid will leaving $200,000.00 to each of his four adult children and everything else to his current wife. That same husband also never changed beneficiary designations leaving his IRA with millions of dollars to his adult children. Even if you have a will that says otherwise, whoever is listed as the beneficiary on the IRA will get that money. The same rule holds true for insurance policies, bank accounts, and annuities.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?  DO WE NEED MIAMI, FL PROBATE COURT INVOLVEMENT?

Yes, probate court involvement is required in both Miami-Dade and Broward county even if there is a valid will. Once a person dies with real estate, stocks, investments, or bank accounts in their name alone with no paid-on-death beneficiary, a probate case must be initiated in order for the loved ones to receive these assets. In the case above, the wife will receive all other assets through probate court and the adult children will get their $200,000.00 each through the same probate process. 

WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE IRA?

The IRA will be divided among the four surviving adult children as stated in his beneficiary designations without probate court involvement. This asset is easily distributed upon showing a death certificate and contacting the investment firm that handled the IRA directly. Once the death certificate is presented and the children’s identity ascertained, the monies are distributed. 

WHAT COULD THE DECEASED HUSBAND HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

The first thing the deceased husband could have done is check and recheck all of his beneficiary designations. In a second marriage, this should be done regularly as the situation changes through time. In addition to reviewing your beneficiary designations and documents regularly, you may also consider doing a proper estate plan with a revocable trust which if funded properly will avoid the need for probate court involvement.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE ALLY M. GLASER, PA TO HANDLE YOUR WILLS AND TRUSTS, ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH AND MIAMI-DADE AND BROWARD PROBATE MATTERS?

As a Miami Beach Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Probate Attorney in Miami Beach, FL with over twenty-three years of experience and both a Psychology and Law degree, I handle these matters with care and sensitivity. I am familiar and comfortable with both the Broward County and Miami-Dade probate court system and know how to get things done. Call or email me today to discuss your Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Broward or Miami-Dade County, FL Probate matters.  I am happy to help you and your loved ones.