Am I entitled to half of the stocks and bonds that are in my deceased father’s financial account?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Am I entitled to half of the stocks and bonds that are in my deceased father’s financial account?

My father has died leaving my late mother has the executor of his estate. That leaves my sister and I to split everything 50/50, however I am not sure she is doing this right. He had a financial account with stocks and bonds that she claims he left to her and her only, meaning that only her name was listed as the beneficiary. There is nothing specifically stated in the Will saying this. She is not telling me anything about his pension, military and social security benefits that I know he received monthly. Probably a few other things that I know nothing about. She is not going to split the stocks and bonds account with me so do I have right to protest? I don’t want to cause needless trouble between us so this is why I am asking for advice before I would actually get a lawyer in my area.

Asked on January 21, 2017 under Estate Planning, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that not all assets of a deceased person pass through their estate. Things such as IRA's, 40lk's, life insurance proceeds and even certain stocks and bonds so long as they name a beneficiary. Accordingly, the Will does not control the disrtibution of such assets. Bottom line, if your sister is in fact listed as the beneficiary, the stocks/bonds are hers.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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