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Can my stepmother get any of my deceased fathers IRA account if she not listed as a beneficiary?

Oklahoma City, OK |

My father an stepmother were separated (not legally) 9 months before my father death. She is not listed as a beneficiary, only the 4 kids are. She is sueing us. She has also filed to be the administrator of the estate. Can we keep her from doing that?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. It depends. It is possible that the IRA beneficiary could not be changed without the wife's consent. It is also possible she is not entitled to anything. As far as the estate is concerned, the IRA would not be an estate asset. Whether or not there are other assets that need to be probated would dictate whether probate is needed. Is there a Will? If not, then the spouse probably has priority to be appointed administrator. You will need an attorney to fight this.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. Attorney Frederick is correct. You should retain an experienced estate attorney to assist you with any necessary probate filing, as well as defending you and your siblings in the lawsuit brought by your step-mother. Good luck to you and your family.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.

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