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?
Estate Planning Attorney
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.
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Estate Planning Attorney
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.
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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 informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/