How do I find out the Beneficiary on an Investment Account?

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How do I find out the Beneficiary on an Investment Account?

My Brother died without a Will. He had money in 2 TD America Brokerage Accounts. The Broker, and TD America will not tell me who is the Beneficiary?

Asked on February 8, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Only the personal representative for the estate (also called an "administrator" when there is no will--when there is a will, it's an "executor") has the legal authority to inquire into the deceased's assets. If there is already a personal representative, ask him or her to inquire; if none has been appointed, contact the probate or surrogate's court for the county in which your brother lived and ask them to appoint you as personal representative (as brother, you are a logical choice). Once you get the legal authority from the court to act for the estate as personal representatives (sometimes called "letters testamentary"), the bank and brokerage should respond to you. I just went through this myself with my father, who passed without a will, so I've seen the process work this way both as attorney and as personal representative for a family member.


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