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Can wife sue over her deceased husban's losses?

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Feb 23, 2011 2:03 pm

My client die last year. He had taken out $100k per year from his IRA for 10 years. I kept telling him to cut back to 4% but he would not do it. After he died his wife had a fit that only 300k was left. She had a lawyer request all my firms records. Can she sue me?  Does she have the right to sue me over  her deceased husban's IRA?

Feb 23, 2011 3:18 pm

Does she have a right, will she win, and will she make your life miserable in the meantime are three completely different answers. 

Technically the husband's IRA isn't any of the wife's concern until he passes away and it becomes hers.  Your responsibility is with him, not her.  She just gets to live with the decisions her husband made.  In this case they were bad ones.  Didn't she ever wonder where the money they were spending came from?  So, to answer your question, no, she doesn't have a right to sue you over what her husband did in the IRA. 

Will she?  Absolutely.  She was under the impression that she had a ton of money and could just keep spending.  Now that she finds out she can't, she's upset.  She blames you for her husband being an idiot. 

Will she win.  No, as long as you have the right documentation to back up your assertation that you told him to not take so much out of the account.  If he didn't take your advice, then too bad for them. 

Will she make your life miserable?  Yes.  Without a doubt.  Again, she's pissed that he spent all the money and she has only one person left alive to blame.  She'll probably find an attorney willing to take her case.  Don't be suprised if something like this lasts for years. 

Disclaimer:  I'm not an attorney and I don't play one on TV.  I could be completely wrong.  I has happened before.  One time in 1997.   

Feb 23, 2011 3:43 pm

Would appear they (she and her atty) are in the discovery phase of up coming litigation.

At this point, she's spent pretty good money on her "hired-gun" and I'd say you can pretty much expect litigation. If your firm will not represent you, you might consider lining up an attorney. Be sure you do your homework before you hire counsel, interview several before you settle on your guy, even try to get a referral, there are a lot of baffoon's attoneys around that'll bill you like crazy and not perform.

Feb 25, 2011 11:20 pm

You know who's probably really pissed?  The young blonde he was probably spending the money on to get away from that wife of his!