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Mom's Estate: Credit Union Surprise. Maybe.

Here is how it started.  About two weeks ago, I was scanning a patient and he was telling me why he could not void his bladder completely. ( I know, weird topic)  He would have to sit in meetings with lawyers because he is a fancy-dancy retirement CPA, CFP financial planner.

I told him of my experience with my mom's financial planner and how she helped me transfer my mom's IRA to my name without incurring any penalty.  We met, I signed papers, and that was it.  She has not contacted me since.  Nothing.  I have little to no experience with Financial planners and don't really know what to expect from them.  Mom's IRA is fairly sizable, so I may feel a false sense of entitlement and need of her attention.

I shared my experiences with my patient and that I am also going through probate with mom's estate.  That is another interesting experience.... Note to self:  Don't lose the original will.  I know, I know....well I know now just how important an original will is.  That is a whole  other post.

I also expressed how mom had a Safety Deposit Box  at one bank and savings and CD's in the Credit Union and that I was not able to get access to the Credit Union accounts.  Granted, up to now I never tried to get access to the Credit Union accounts.  I thought I had to wait for Probate.

My patient ( financial planner guy) said I should check out the Credit Union accounts to see if mom had designated or filled out a beneficiary or transfer on death form.  Sounded good to me.

Yesterday, I went to her Credit Union to see what was going on with her account and if I could find out if she did fill out a beneficiary form.  The representative made copies of the death certificate, and then she quickly searched the forms on the computer that mom signed.  She searched them rather quickly as I was kinda looking over her shoulder.

She then said she had to call the "death notification department"  okay, I don't know if that is what she really called it, but it was something like that. She left me sitting in her cubicle and went to make the call.  A few minutes later, she comes back over and says the the "beneficiaries" will be notified by mail.  What??  What does that mean?

She said she that was all she could tell me.  I said, but I am her personal representative, I have a copy of her will here that proves it.  She said it does not matter.  I said, so You can't tell me if I am one of the beneficiaries?  No, she said.  She could not.  She repeated, that the beneficiaries would be notified in the mail.

This did not sit well with me.  At all.  But I was getting nowhere with this chick. I asked for a number to call so I could talk with the "death notification department" myself.  They basically told me the same thing.  Whatever.

What bugs me about this is that mom never told me about these accounts, and I have no idea about anything.  That is what bugs me.  And deep down, I really think I should get the money.  And to find out that there maybe more beneficiaries and I may or may not be one of them really bugs me.  I just wish she would have told me.  I don't like being blindsided and that is what it feels like.  This is so typical of my mom. Secretive and manipulative.    I guess I am mad at myself too.  I let my guard down.  Again.  Or I just may be overreacting.  I guess we will all wait on the mailman, won't we?

And what about the financial planner guy?  He gave me a card.  He then called my work and left a message. More about financial planner guy in a later post.    


Lisa Richardson said...

The whole thing sounds very frustrating.

Lisa Richardson said...

Unbelievably so. I hate not knowing. Or not being told in the first place.

Lisa Richardson said...

Thank you for your thoughtful advice Alex. Where the IRA is now is free of commissions. ( one reason i hesitate to move it) The account was part of my mom's work retirement and it was grandfathered in when her employers sold out to the hospital.

I just want to know that I am doing the right thing with her now mine IRA. I don't want to screw it up. When and if I meet with the new guy, I will just have to remind myself not to sign anything that day.

There is another IRA I have to get transferred. It is substantially smaller, maybe I will see how he handles that one.


Lisa Richardson said...

Please check out IRS Publication 590 and the section covering inherited IRAs. My client got burned badly when they transferred a deceased parent's IRA into their own name. Also done on the advice of their financial planner, who was wrong. The IRS rules are very specific regarding non-spouse IRA inheritances. The following is directly from Publication 590:

"Inherited from someone other than spouse. If you inherit a traditional IRA from anyone other than your deceased spouse, you cannot treat the inherited IRA as your own. This means that you cannot make any contributions to the IRA. It also means you cannot roll over any amounts into or out of the inherited IRA. However, you can make a trustee-to-trustee transfer as long as the IRA into which amounts are being moved is set up and maintained in the name of the deceased IRA owner for the benefit of you as beneficiary."

Good luck! You are in a tough position having to sort out your mother's estate, especially without all of the information you need.

Lisa Richardson said...

Estates take a long time to close. With my cousin, it was over a year and a half (and that is with me being the sole beneficiary and with many things being TOD... still takes time to handle the other items, like estate taxes, income taxes, and the like. So try to be patient. As for the 'beneficiaries' comment from the bank, that is a bit odd. As executor you should be privy to that information (as it will need to be reported when the estate is closed). Do you have an estate attorney? If not, you need one NOW. And if you have one, why isn't he/she doing this for you? That is one of the reason you pay them the thousands you do. Good luck!
~ Denise @ http://www.myhousemyrules.com

Lisa Richardson said...

It sounds like its more of you feeling left out of her planning, and you want to know NOW.
Let it go thru the process, as I have followed your blog for a while, I think you are incredibly fortunate to get as much money as you have from your mother. It's a gift so I'd keep that in mind. Most of us never get inheritances and just keep struggling to pay the mortgage etc.
Just my 2 cents.

Lisa Richardson said...

Hi Christina,
Thanks for your comment. You are correct, I do feel left out and I do want to know now. Mom was very private in all her affairs, so I really should not be surprised at all. I let my guard down I guess.

And yes, I am very fortunate and blessed by what mom has left me. No doubt about it, in fact my husband was very quick to point that out to me.

It is an emotional process and I know that. And, wont I feel like an a@@ if I am the only beneficiary? Yes I will. Totally.

Lisa Richardson said...

Ugh, so frustrating. Hang in there!