If an executor is listing as a beneficiary on an IRA account from the deceased, does it have to be deposited into the estate account for distribution? 18 Answers as of April 22, 2014

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Did the decedent intend that only the individual designated as beneficiary receive the IRA ("To Mary Smith")? If so, that's who gets it. Or did he/she indicate it was to go to the individual in their representative capacity (e.g., "To Mary Smith, Executor")? If the latter, I think it was intended to be part of the estate and divided.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/22/2014
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
Any asset that has a living designated beneficiary, those assets are paid directly to the beneficiary.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/18/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Not if the beneficiary designation is to a specific beneficiary and not as an executor of an estate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/16/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
No. Assets with a named been go direct to that person.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/16/2014
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Depends, was the designation to the individual or to the office of trustee. In other words, if it says "my beneficiary is John," then it does not belong to the estate. If it says "my beneficiary is John, the executor of my estate," then it belongs to the estate.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 4/16/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If the personal representative is listed on the IRA account *as such* ("to the personal representative of my estate") then yes, that becomes part of the estate a very bad result for tax reasons. However, the PR is usually a family member, and would be a natural object of the IRA account holder's bounty, so might just be listed as a beneficiary ("to John Jones"). The fact that the named beneficiary happens to be PR doesn't make his IRA distribution a part of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    The answer depends on how the beneficiary of the IRA account is listed. If it names the executor only by name, then the money belongs to the executor and it should not be deposited into an estate account. If it lists the executor as executor of the estate, the money may belong to the estate. It would be a matter for a judge to decide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It depends is the person listed in that capacity or just by name. If just by name then that person is the beneficiary, if with title, "Executor" then it probably should be paid to the Estate. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    No. The beneficiary is entitled to the IRA. The only time that would not be the case is if they are mentioned in their representative capacity, (which is VERY rare, in the case of an executor). It is more common in the case of a trust. It would appear that the decedent wanted the executor to receive this asset and not the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    No, it passes probate due to the beneficiary designation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    No if they are listed as an individual. The institution is the best place to go for answers on how the title is held and what you can do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    That is a separate contract and is not a part of the estate. The executor is allow to receive the money from the IRA without making it a part of the estate. In addition if the named beneficiary does not want to share the proceeds, they do not have to share.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Generally, yes. All assets must be included in the estate except those designating a specific beneficiary, payable on death, such as life insurance policies. Check with a local attorney to see if the IRA account can be included as an exception.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    A determination of the intent of the decedent is critical. There is no executor until the decedent dies and an estate representative is appointed. This would indicate the intent was that the individual is the intended beneficiary. If the beneficiary designation states that the beneficiary is the "person, as executor". That indicates an intent that the estate was the beneficiary. If the intent of the decedent is clear by other evidence that could also impact the determination. The question is one for a court decision if there is a belief that the property should be in the estate. Typically, making an IRA beneficiary the estate rather than the spouse or a child will result in a significant income tax payment that is not desirable. If the beneficiary in this instance is not a spouse or child the income tax consequence will be significant and also not desirable. If the executor is the spouse the intent may have been to benefit the individual to avoid the high income tax consequence.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    No. The IRA designation controls the distribution outside of probate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Home Town Law, P.A.
    Home Town Law, P.A. | Sabina Tomshinsky
    Generally funds received from an IRA are outside of probate and the beneficiary receives those funds directly as they are not probate assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/16/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    No. It is not part of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 4/16/2014
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