Fort Lauderdale, FL asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Florida

Q: My brother and I were left an account from my mother who passed with Merrill lynch, my brother is not filling out the

paperwork for the trustee certification for Merrill lynch account so I can transfer my portion into my name. what is my recourse? If he continues to drag his feet, this will go onto 2020 and we will have to file taxes another year for this..

1 Lawyer Answer
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: Some companies will split out your portion of the account and hold the rest for the other named beneficiary. People deal with grief in different capacities and this results in some people not wanting to deal with things like this as soon as their siblings are ready. Unfortunately, as a rule Merrill is difficult to deal with so you may be stuck waiting on your brother. If there is a Merrill office you both can visit together to fill out paperwork maybe this will expedite things, or even visit with your brother to do the necessary paperwork. If the delay resulting in an additional tax return means taxes will need to be paid and that will diminish your portion, maybe you can use that as a negotiating tool to convince your brother to do paperwork, rather than be responsible for additional taxes out of his share. If all else fails you can consult with a probate attorney who may have more clout depending on the nature of the investment Merrill is holding.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

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