What to do if my mom passed away and left an investment account with no beneficiary form?

There are 3 children; 2 of us were co-guardians and conservators. I am named in her Will as “personal representative”. I have gotten an EIN for her but am not sure what I need to do next in order to equitably split (3 way) the account. We are all in agreement, there will be no contesting that decision.

Asked on May 25, 2012 under Estate Planning, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. I am assuming that you have submitted her Will for probate and have been appointed as the personal representative of her estate, correct?  And I am assuming that her Will splits the the inheritance equally as well.  Now, if there is not designated beneficiary of an account the account is payable to"the estate" and opening an account with an EIN number is the right first step.  But you also have to give notice to creditors (check to see how that is done - usually published for those unknown) and the time frame needed to keep the estate open for the claims to be made.  Once the time frame has passed and all debts are paid (including estate taxes) you are free to distribute the funds. Good luck.

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