My father passed away a few months ago and he had named both my sister and I as equal beneficiaries on his $500,000+ IRA; we have a copy of his latest Wells Fargo statement that states this. Wells Fargo has asked the person in charge of my father's estate (not us) to sign off on a "Surviving Child Certification" form but his attorney advised him not to and now he will not do it. Wells Fargo refuses to release any funds until that form is signed. Since they can't find it, we are assuming that Wells Fargo and/or ING (investment company) either misplaced or can't find my fathers original beneficiary designation form. Can we file any kind of claim against Wells Fargo for losing that documentation? We were specifically excluded from my fathers will and this is really all he left us.
Form is called: IRA BENEFICIARY, SURVIVING CHILD CERTIFICATION.. Here is the text: http://i.imgur.com/LwaQExj.png
Estate Planning Attorney
I recommend filing a Petition to Determine Entitlement with the court and get a court order stating the asset belongs to you and your sister. Wells Fargo will comply with a court order. It should be a straightforward Petition and many attorneys will probably work with you on fees and costs to help you get the proceeds from the IRA.
Family Law Attorney
How do you know what the will says? You could file your own petition to probate his estate and then make your claims regarding the Wells Fargo account as a petitioner. You might then be forced to file a separate Will Contest. Has anyone been appointed by the court to administrate his estate? Was there a Trust? Please seeklegal help.
I agree with attorney James. You may need to file a petition re entitlement in the Probate court. At a minimum, you need to immediately retain counsel and assert your interest in the IRA. It is unclear whether this would be a probate matter or an interpleader in civil court initiated by Wells Fargo if they are unable to determine the appropriate beneficiary.
Michael R. Daymude, Attorney at Law
Sherman Oaks Galleria – Comerica Bank Building
15303 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 900
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403-3199
SINCE 1974. My answers are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers assume California law. I am licensed in California, only. Answers must not be relied upon.<br> <br> Legal advice and counsel must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice and counsel during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us.<br> <br> The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential. I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo because I have answered or commented on a question. Specifically, I assume no duty to respond to any question, comment, telephone call, or email because of my participation.<br> <br> All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice or counsel in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for advice and counsel. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.