Brother passed, left IRA. Had trust. Who does the IRA belong to, the trust or siblings?

My brother passed away and left an IRA and named my father as beneficiary, who is also deceased. My brother established a trust. Who does the IRA belong to, the trust or siblings? Brother had no wife or children.

Avondale, AZ -

Attorney Answers (4)

Celia R Reed

Celia R Reed

Probate Attorney - Phoenix, AZ
Answered

An Ira can be placed in a trust and can name a trust as beneficiary. Unless your brother did this prior to his death, the Ira does not belong to the trust.

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Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Brown Sinclair

Probate Attorney - Twin Falls, ID
Answered

On the basis of the facts you have disclosed, most likely the IRA belongs to your father's estate. If he left a will, it would pass under the terms of the will, which may, especially if competent counsel was involved in drafting the trust, require "pouring" all into the trust. If there is no will, the IRA goes to your father's heirs, as determined by the applicable state's laws of intestate succession. For more precise advice, consult with an experienced probate attorney in the county where your father lived.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
Paul E Deloughery

Paul E Deloughery

Probate Attorney - Scottsdale, AZ
Answered

I believe that the IRA beneficiary designation to your father failed because your father did not survive. So, the IRA has no beneficiary (assuming there was no alternate beneficiary). The IRA is in your brother's estate and gets treated according to the will (i am assuming). The will might have a provision for the IRA, but most lawyers don't bother to do that. I'm guessing that the will pours all remaining assets into the trust. Whoever's in charge of the estate and trust needs to see a good probate attorney and financial advisor (about how to transfer the IRA from your brother's name to his estate, then to the trust and then to the beneficiaries).

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James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Probate Attorney - Livonia, MI
Answered

I agree with my colleagues. You need to contact the company holding the IRA and inform them of your brother's death AND your father's death and determine whether there is a contingent beneficiary named. If not, then the IRA company will have a policy determining whether the proceeds pass to your brother's estate or father's estate. I have seen it handled both ways.

James Frederick

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