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Bruiserswife

Separated spouse dies

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My parents had been married for 55 years when my father had a devastating stroke which left him paralyzed. My mother, then 77 years old could not care for him and moved into an apartment in my brother's home. Dad was able to come back home a year after his stroke. Except for Dad's IRA's, Mom took all marital assets with her.  Now Mom has died and we know that she had several hundreds of thousands of dollars of their joint money. Here's the questions:  wouldn't that money belong to my father? What if she named beneficiaries other than my father when she moved the money to different accounts? HOW can we find the money?

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Were your parents divorced?  Is your father still alive?  Do you have access to her new home such that you can look for a will or other documents?

 

In any event, someone should apply to be administrator of her estate.  That person would have the authority to take control of the necessary assets.  The easiest way to find most financial assets is to just watch her mail for one to three months and collect the monthly or quarterly statements.

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8 hours ago, Bruiserswife said:

Now Mom has died and we know that she had several hundreds of thousands of dollars of their joint money.

 

You know this how?

 

 

8 hours ago, Bruiserswife said:

wouldn't that money belong to my father?

 

That depends.  How was the money maintained?  If it was in bank and/or investment accounts, did those accounts designate pay-on-death beneficiaries?  If so, who are the beneficiaries?  Did your mother have a will?  If so, what did it say?

 

 

8 hours ago, Bruiserswife said:

What if she named beneficiaries other than my father when she moved the money to different accounts?

 

Then those beneficiaries would be presumed to be entitled to the money.

 

 

8 hours ago, Bruiserswife said:

HOW can we find the money?

 

Most folks in your situation would go through the deceased parent's papers/records (which most folks maintain in a desk or file cabinet).

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Hi @Bruiserswife

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting. So sorry for the loss of your mother. The answer to your question will depend on if your parents were still married at the time of your mother's death, and if she had any sort of estate plan in place (will or trust). Let us know, and the community may be able to offer more guidance.

 

The FindLaw.com Team

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 No, not divorced. Dad is still alive. Mom had moved into my brother's home in an apartment which she paid rent for. My brother has access to all of her and Dad's belongings including paperwork. Since it is in his home, we can't just go in. Before she died, Mom told me that her will was one created 10 years ago with each spouse as beneficiary for the other and the 3 children as alternate beneficiaries. However, my mother's sister, with whom she was very very close, says that Mom told her that she had put only the 3 children on her accounts as beneficiaries, not Dad. In Missouri, can a spouse be left out by means of beneficiary listing on bank, IRA, or other accounts? My Dad is the only one who earned all of that money. Now he needs full time care and no money left to himself. Can he  get that money? How?

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As I said before, apply to be administrator of your mother's estate.  Then you have the authority to access her assets, with the assistance of court orders, if necessary.  If there is a will and it is produced when you apply for administration, that will solve that question.

 

It sounds as if your brother should be able to answer all your questions. What is his position in all this?

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