Q: Can an estate administrator defraud a sole beneficiary of an IRA account mom left her by telling her that monies HAVE to go into the estate account. The beneficiary can prove she’s sole beneficiary of the account and can prove the administrator told her it had to go into estate. Can administrator use the “I didn’t know it didn’t need to go through estate” as a defense? Is ignorance a defense? Or, isn’t that her fiduciary responsibility as administrator to KNOW what accounts are placed in estate or not??
A: Yes, she should know. If an attorney was representing the administrator, this wouldn’t have happened. I find it highly unusual that a financial company would pay out a claim to an estate when there was a beneficiary listed on the IRA. You may want to hire an attorney to inquire and/or file a petition for a court accounting.