Asked in Estate Planning for Kansas

Q: My deceased mother put her ira in my name. My stepdad is refusing to let me see her will or giving me any information.

He is refusing to give me the will or information.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Anthony M. Avery
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Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: Usually an IRA has a designation of beneficiary. Rarely does it go through an Estate. If you know that the IRA is yours, hopefully with the designation clause, then contact the IRA Administrator and make a claim. Otherwise you must sue the Administrator for breach of contract, conversion, etc.

Scott C. Stockwell
Scott C. Stockwell
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrence, KS
  • Licensed in Kansas

A: If an IRA has a beneficiary designation or a payable on death (POD) provision, the transfer of that asset is a non-probate transfer. Typically, a IRA custodian will convey to the beneficiary's benefit an IRA account upon presentation of a death certificate and, proof of identity.

As for the probate estate, any heir at law is an interested party and may petition to open the estate. Once the petition has been filed, a disclosure proceeding may be requested by any interested party. K.S.A. 59-2216 provides:

59-2216. Disclosure proceedings. Upon the filing of a petition by a personal representative or any person interested in the estate, alleging that any person has concealed, converted, embezzled or disposed of any property belonging to the estate of a decedent or ward, or that any person has possession or knowledge of any will or codicil of a decedent, or of any instruments in writing relating to the property of such decedent or ward, the court, upon such notice it directs, may order such person to appear before it for disclosure. Refusal to appear or submit to examination, or failure to obey any lawful order based thereon, shall constitute contempt of court.

The court may also point a special administrator pursuant to K.S.A. 59-710 and authorize such special administrator to take possession or obtain such records or information as may help to identify the IRA custodian or to procure the will, if one exists, so that the estate may be fully probated.

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