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frencharecrazy@gmail.com

Retirement minimum distribution on mother

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When we moved my parents to Florida in 2014 my brother had my mom add his name to all of her accounts.

My father passed away last year and my mother is still alive.  My brother has been handling everything since July 2014.

My mother is 83 years old.  I just found out from a friend that she has to take out a minimum distribution payment each year based on her age.

Since my mother's SSI and pension cover the cost of the retirement home I believe my brother is taking the money for himself and he might be sharing with our youngest brother.  My brother will not talk to me and I need to know what legal course I have to find out if they have been taking the money and not splitting it 3 ways like my parents would want and the way the will reads should my mom die.

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If your mother is currently mentally competent, then you probably do not have a way to force your brothers to provide the information you want.

It would be up to your mother to inquire about the state of her accounts.

 

If she is not currently mentally competent, you might be able to petition the courts to have yourself (or some trusted third party) appointed as her guardian; if that request is granted, the appointed guardian would then have the ability to manage her accounts and would be able to get information from the brother or from the bank where the accounts are. If that's something you want to pursue, I'd recommend that you engage an attorney in Florida -- that can be a complicated process and probably not a good DIY project.

 

55 minutes ago, frencharecrazy@gmail.com said:

my brother had my mom add his name to all of her accounts

While this is a simple way to facilitate your brother managing your mother's money, as you've learned it does create some risks because it doesn't really put any limits on what the brother can do with the access that he has.  If he really is a joint holder on the account, then -- purely from a legal perspective -- the money in your mother's account is equally his to do with as he sees fit.  It is a terrible thing when people abuse the trust that has been placed in them, but unfortunately it does happen sometimes.

 

The assumption I'm making here (based on the information you provided) is that what happened was there was an account with Mom as the accountholder, and then at brother's request, the account became joint Mom and brother.  If that's not exactly what happened, there might be a different conclusion.

 

 

56 minutes ago, frencharecrazy@gmail.com said:

and not splitting it 3 ways like my parents would want and the way the will reads should my mom die

Strictly speaking, the will doesn't play any part in this.  The will defines what will happen to your mother's property at the time of her death, but it doesn't affect how her property is handled during her lifetime.  Even if the will says "3-way split - no exceptions" -- that only covers whatever property she may still own at the time of her death. 

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1 hour ago, frencharecrazy@gmail.com said:

I just found out from a friend that she has to take out a minimum distribution payment each year based on her age.

 

Minimum distribution from what?  Why would your friend know anything about this?

 

 

1 hour ago, frencharecrazy@gmail.com said:

I need to know what legal course I have to find out if they have been taking the money and not splitting it 3 ways like my parents would want and the way the will reads should my mom die.

 

Your mother's will is legally meaningless as long as she is alive.  Likewise, what your parents (plural) "would want" is of no consequence.  Only what your mother does want is of relevance.  Regardless, the only way you would have standing to do anything is if you can convince a court to appoint you as your mother's conservator or legal guardian.  I suggest you consult with a local attorney about what is happening.

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It is not unusual for pension plans to require a minimum distribution in order for the person to be considered "retired", particularly if there are other retiree benefits such as health care or life insurance available to retirees. I get this issue, way more than I should as some "retirees"
 prefer to live off social security and other savings and keep their pension funds as an inheritance for their heirs. The pension itself can't be signed over to anyone else either and there are usually pretty strict rules about how it can be paid out to any non-spouse once the person dies as well. As for the money once it reaches her bank account, it is no different than any other money in the account. Mom is free to save it, spend it, or give it away. How she does this is totally up to her.

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