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Fidelity and Inherited IRA
Old 01-14-2015, 07:55 AM   #1
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Fidelity and Inherited IRA

I inherited an IRA and a regular account along with my 2 siblings at Fidelity from my recently deceased M (I have posted before on this issue but there is now a new twist). DM also had an IRA at US Bank where they can't find a beneficiary form and they refused to move it to Fidelity when she was alive. DB gave them the paperwork but she was too ill to go into to the branch and they said she needed to.

They are now saying it was their fault it wasn't moved and they would be glad to move it now but Fidelity says they can't move it because DM is dead. DB has a TN for the estate.

I filed a complaint with the MO AG but all it resulted in was a letter from US Bank saying they always ask all depositors if they want to update beneficiary info ... it doesn't mean they have any actual info to update (DB and DM thought no point, it was her 3 kids) and that they will move the money now. The AG says I can write a rebuttal letter in response to that.

Anyone ever: 1) write such a letter? I have no idea what to put in it that would add anything that I haven't already said in my complaint. 2) Any luck having an account moved to another account of a deceased person? 3) Use the Federal Consumer Protection Board? (Looks like just a place to complain) or 4) Have any suggestions

The amount of the IRA would put it in small claims probate that would require a lawyer (good old Missouri leg protecting their cronie's jobs) and court fees, which US Bank has not volunteered to pay even though it's their fault we need to do it.

I thought of calling Fidelity myself and asking to speak to a supervisor. Not sure if that would work or not. They say it's the IRS rules that won't allow them to move the $.

Any ideas would be appreciate. DB just wants to get a lawyer who charges by the hour and won't say how long this will take.
Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:26 AM   #2
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How long ago was the attempt to transfer it to Fidelity while she was alive? Is the paperwork that she signed still around? Can US Bank still process the paperwork, as long as it is signed and dated? Sure, she is deceased NOW....but the paperwork is signed.

Let's say she signed the paperwork 3 days before she died to transfer from US Bank to Fidelity, and mailed it in. Legally, the transaction (her signing and mailing) took place while she was alive. Just because US Bank hasn't fully acted on the order to transfer doesn't mean it is suddenly null and void. If US Bank received instructions to transfer 1 day before she died, and US Bank started the transfer, they wouldn't suddenly halt it just because of her death. And this case, IMO, can be argued that it is no different (due to US Bank's incompetence in delaying this for no reason).

I would argue that IF the transfer forms still exist, US Bank should act on it and transfer the account with your mother's SSN. Then, as soon as Fidelity receives it, they change the account to an estate IRA, or then deal with the heirs as applicable.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:45 AM   #3
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Is Fidelity balking because the titling will be changed during the xfer, i.e. it will become an "inherited IRA" whereas at the moment is a standard, non-inherited IRA at US Bank? I can see that being Fidelity's concern. Since US Bank seems willing to make amends, ask them to retitle the account into the proper inherited form first. After you see that paperwork (remember, it must include the names of both the beneficiary and original depositor), you should be able to xfer the inherited IRA account easily to Fidelity (or Vanguard, or anywhere).
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Is Fidelity balking because the titling will be changed during the xfer, i.e. it will become an "inherited IRA" whereas at the moment is a standard, non-inherited IRA at US Bank? I can see that being Fidelity's concern. Since US Bank seems willing to make amends, ask them to retitle the account into the proper inherited form first. After you see that paperwork (remember, it must include the names of both the beneficiary and original depositor), you should be able to xfer the inherited IRA account easily to Fidelity (or Vanguard, or anywhere).
This could well be it. IME, you really cannot transfer and change anything at the same time. Change at the current place, then transfer.

That is how it worked with a Trad and Roth IRA as an example. I could not transfer a Trad to a Roth, I had to either convert and then transfer, or transfer and convert. The same concept seems to apply to any changes in the titling of the account.

I think if the OP addresses it in this way to each institution (talking their 'language'), it will get resolved.

-ERD50
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:21 PM   #5
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This could well be it. IME, you really cannot transfer and change anything at the same time. Change at the current place, then transfer.

That is how it worked with a Trad and Roth IRA as an example. I could not transfer a Trad to a Roth, I had to either convert and then transfer, or transfer and convert. The same concept seems to apply to any changes in the titling of the account.

I think if the OP addresses it in this way to each institution (talking their 'language'), it will get resolved.

-ERD50
No, there are two issues: Issue 1 is they won't change it into our names because they can't find a beneficiary form. Issue 2 is they wouldn't transfer it when DM was alive even though they had the paperwork. The paperwork was submitted 6 months before her death. They admit it was their fault and will do it now but Fidelity won't do it because she has passed away.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:49 PM   #6
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IMO what to do depends on how much you stand to lose if the IRA is ruled to have no beneficiaries on file.

Have you read Ed Slott's opinion? https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/...count-now-what
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:17 AM   #7
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IMO what to do depends on how much you stand to lose if the IRA is ruled to have no beneficiaries on file.

Have you read Ed Slott's opinion? https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/...count-now-what
Interesting article. Thank you for posting it. The total amount of the IRA is about $33000 so it is worth doing something.
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