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My mother died and left the bulk of her estate to my sister, I have no problem with this, but I do know that her retirement plan

Syracuse, NY |

I was sole beneficiary. I called the company and asked them what I needed to do now that my mother had died, they said they would process it and the claims dept. would send me the forms to fill out and what documents they needed to validate my claim. They asked what was the date of my mothers death and other such questions I answered them all. I now find out that my sister has mailed an Affadavit of withdrawal form to the company on my mothers behave to try and take all of the funds out before I have a chance to do anything. Will the company catch this since information of my mothers passing has been entered into the computer. The will has not been executed but I understand that would not matter since I am beneficiary on the retirement plan. Which my mother told me this before she died

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Attorney answers 3


If you are the named beneficiary, then you have an absolute right to these proceeds. Nothing that your sister can do as executrix can overrule this. However, you may want to send a written letter to the company reaffirming all the details and your expectations as to beneficiary of this policy.

By the way, why are you willing to allow that the bulk of the estate goes to your sister? Was there any undue influence or duress that your sister applied to your mom in drafting the will?
If any of this exists meet with an estates attorney immediately.

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Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law in PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is uuthorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States.His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is
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There may be quite a difference between what your mother told you and what is actually in the will. I am also disturbed that your sister would do what she does, which means 1) she believes she is responsible for this even though it supposedly passes outside of the will administration; 2) on the other hand, as the other attorney posted, why are you letting her take the entire estate. Were you given any advances during your mother's lifetime? Did your sister care for your mother while she was aged or ill? I strongly advise you to discuss your options with a NYS estate attorney.

The questioner might find some of my legal guides helpful:
From my legal guides on law in general and about attorneys
Is it Legal? Is it Illegal?
Selecting and Hiring a Lawyer
Understanding the Different Court Systems
Limits on a Lawyer's License: What the Attorney Can and Cannot Do
An Introduction to Legal Terms used in Litigation

Estate Administration and Litigation (with a Will) in General and in New Jersey,
Estate Administration and Litigation (No Will) in New Jersey and in General,

Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about this issue.


If you are the named beneficiary on the IRA, then you are entitled to collect the proceeds. An IRA with a named beneficiary is an asset that passes outside of the estate and is not subject to the powers os the executor.