Monday, November 30, 2015

In which Sam advises Primo to tell Ted to go to heck

Primo is so angry at Ted's email demanding information about the trust and the will that he is talking to his best friend, Sam, who is a lawyer. Sam is telling Primo that he should tell Ted that Primo cannot give legal advice and if he wants to talk to someone about the will and the trust, he should get a lawyer.

Last night, we figured out the discouraging news that the IRA is taxable. So nobody is quitting a job for sure with our new-found wealth.

And now Sam is advising Primo to resign as trustee immediately.

Primo's dad made him a joint owner of a savings account before he died.
The trust mentions that account
Does Primo get to keep the money?
Or does it go to the trust?
That account is specifically mentioned as a joint asset of Sly  and Doris that is to be considered as part of the trust
and Ted, as usual, is being an asshole
he is demanding a conference call this week
about how the trust works
and how the expenses work
and how the contents of the house will be disposed of
he told Primo to write a will
he wants to talk about a letter Sly wrote in 2005

I am looking at the trust agreement. There may be a conflict between the trust agreement, and how the account passes by operation of Florida law, which might establish that Primo would take ownership as a joint owner. This is something the lawyer should probably tell you. Because Ted is not a beneficiary under the Will, he really has no right to have Primo tell him anything.

Primo should not give him advice on how the trust or will works. Nor would any estate lawyer advise him on that, because his duties are solely to the estate. So Ted needs to get his own lawyer if he wants to ask questions and get answers. If Primo wants to talk about this, have him give me a call. I'm at home, & I hate long Facebook messages.

OK - just showed this to Primo. Thank you so much.
We just now got the email from Ted and are both fuming.
The man has filmed brain surgery. Surely he can interpret a legal document.

It may also depend on exactly how the bank account is titled. If it is joint tenancy with right of survivorship, he may actually have precedence over the trust. However I would generally expect the trust to prevail. The estate lawyer can tell you this pretty easily because I'm sure it has happened before.

If I were Primo, I would write back saying quote I am NOT a lawyer, & I am not in a position to give you legal advice about how the Trust works, or any interpretation.

All the more reason for Primo not to serve as trustee for the grandchildren. If Ted wants to screw up the grandchildren by pressing the trustee, that should be on him and not on Primo. Or on a successor trustee


  1. Yes, you have to pay taxes on the IRA but only as you take the money out. It does give you breathing room though which is always nice. Husband ended up with half of an annuity from his mother. It's nice getting a monthly check. We use it to cover the costs of going to our daughter's college soccer games. Payout is for 5 years at which time she will have graduated.

    1. Exactly. Sam might have advised you on this, but as this is an inherited IRA, I believe Primo will have to take at least the Minimum Required Distribution, usually 4%, starting next year. As Liz said, you can take more, but it all counts towards your taxable income. However, you could just withdraw the minimum and grow it until you retire, which is what I've done with the IRA I inherited when my mother passed away in 2008. (As you probably remember from my comments about looking after my father, I'm an only child and my parents divorced, so that was loads of fun to deal with.) Once you retire, your taxable income should be a lot lower, so you can withdraw more then if you like.

    2. MRD is determined by Sly's age. Primo will have to take out what Sly would have been required to starting with this year as Sly was over 70 1/2.

    3. Yeah, it is nice to have some cushion. It does make it possible to consider retiring someday! Cosmic Avenger, I think some parents' role in life is to serve as a warning to others.

  2. I really enjoy your writing and I hope you keep telling us stories after this one is finished. If not, I will really miss your take on things.

    1. Ah, thank, fmcgmccllc! Part of me wants to run out of material, but the rest of me really likes interacting with you guys.

  3. I did what Cosmic Avenger described - required mini. distribution until I retired and now using Mother's IRA to bridge the gap between now and 70, when my SS will be the highest. You can have the IRA "people" withhold the tax when you get the distribution, so that it is already paid to ease the pain at tax time. They will usually offer a variety of %'s that they can/will withhold. I've had them take the max they will, and have used that "pre-paid" tax to reduce our tax bill, and some years it's meant a small refund.

    1. Yeah, we were thinking we could use the payout to fund our own IRAs each year. We are super thrifty and I make a decent salary, so we do not need cash now, but I want to feel safe retiring.

  4. PS: Tell Ted to get a lawyer and let him PAY for all this crap. I suspect he might shut up if Primo consistently says, "I can't discuss this with you. You are not an heir. Ask your lawyer." In most state, Primo is not even required to provide a copy of the Will to non-inheriters.

    1. In this case, and I could be wrong so correct me if so Goldie, Ted's son is disabled and Ted would be responsible for using whatever is dolled out for his son's care. He'd almost have to have a copy of the will in this instance.

    2. That's the rub - Ted is the legal guardian for his son, so he has to be involved. But not until the trust is set up! He doesn't get to see the will (although he has because he was involved in arguing about it as Sly was writing about it) because the will doesn't give anything to his son- it gives it to a trust to be established for his son. Or something like that.


Sorry about the new commenting requirements - I have been getting spammed like crazy.