How do I close an IRA of a deceased family member?

Asked over 1 year ago - Midland, TX

My wifes mother passed away and had an IRA that the bank (Bank of America) refuses to close. What do we need to do to get the account closed? Do we need a lawyer? Do we need to pay any fees for a withdrawal she made on the account before she died?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven Drew Baker

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Assuming there are still funds left in the account, who is the designated beneficiary? The beneficiary will be the only person that the custodian will deal with. If she did not designate a beneficiary, then it is likely that the account is payable to her estate, and you will have to discuss the probate or intestate options with an experienced probate attorney in the county where she passed away.

    NOTICE: The foregoing is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to create, and... more
  2. Amanda Marie Cook

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You would do well to speak to an attorney who is knowledgeable in both estates and tax who can advise you how best to deal with the IRA. Depending on how much is in the IRA, significant tax consequences could arise even if BOA does agree to just close the IRA.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can... more
  3. Steven M Zelinger

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If there is a designated beneficiary (or multiple), that person should close the account by transferring the funds (and they have certain options on how to do that in the best manner for tax and investment purposes). If there is no beneficiary the IRA may go to her estate, which is a bigger job but the funds would then go to the beneficiaries of her will or her heirs at law. If she made a withdrawal from her IRA, she likely has income tax to pay for the year the distributions/withdrawals were made. Dealing with IRAs and taxation of IRAs can be difficult so hire an attorney or a CPA at the least.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more

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