My father who passed away a couple of years ago had invested a sizable amount of money with Edward Jones. My mother who was the beneficiary refuses to list any other beneficiaries. She is very paranoid but not mentally ill to the point of needing commitment or deemed unable to make her own judgments. She is convinced that everyone wants her money. Her accountant started pressing her about why she refuses to list beneficiaries so now she is paranoid about his motives and is switching accountants. If my brother and I encourage her to do it, it just confirms her belief that we are trying to steal her money. She is always changing attorneys once she stops trusting the one she has and is constantly trying to figure out ways to “guard her money.” I know my father would not have wanted this but as far as I know, there is absolutely nothing we can do.
If she does not designate any beneficiaries, the balance of the account will go to her estate when she passes away. This will mean that the estate will have to be probated in court before the assets can be distributed to her heirs. Consult a local attorney to discuss this further.
Answers provided are for informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is intended or implied.
It is solely your mother's choice whether to designate beneficiaries on her accounts, and if she does so, who those beneficiaries should be. If she passes away owning accounts with no designated beneficiaries, then (depending on the type of accounts) any remaining money would pass through her estate (as opposed of bypassing her estate directly to the beneficiaries had she designated beneficiaries).
Hope this answers your question.
No attorney-client relationship has been formed by this response. The response given herein should not be your only inquiry into the matter or issue. You should schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney to fully explain the facts so that the attorney can make an informed analysis and recommendation concerning your problem and advise you of your rights. The response provided is not legal advice and you should not rely upon it in taking any action without first consulting with and discussing fully your issue with an experienced attorney. Contact an attorney and schedule an appointment immediately to further discuss your case. For further information which may be helpful to your question, please visit my website at www.jonhpowell.com.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline