Author Topic: Merrill Lynch Advice  (Read 641 times)

dcozad999

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Merrill Lynch Advice
« on: May 16, 2018, 07:45:23 AM »
I already created a post awhile back about my father passing and helping my mother have all of my father's assets transferred into her name.

Well we are having a problem with Merrill Lynch right now and I need some advice. About 5 years ago my father inherited a decent sum of money from my grandmother (his mom), which was in a trust for him and his sister. He kept that money with ML and converted it into his own trust. My sister helped my mother with this in the beginning so I'm not exactly sure what was discussed, but ML is converting this over to another trust in my mother's name. And they are seriously giving her the run around. They've sent paperwork that has been filled out and sent back twice, and they claim they haven't received it. It was even sent back in a pre-addressed, and prepaid UPS envelope that they included. Ten days after sending in my Power of Attorney, they told me they still hadn't received it, even though it was also sent UPS. And I recently got a letter letting me know that the POA was rejected because my mother still didn't have an account and it was still in my father's name. They claim they still need the death certificate and the paperwork, which have already been sent twice.  And oh yeah. This is from my father's investment "adviser" who is located in Florida, 1500 miles away.

Sorry for the rant, but I am pissed. I know they are churning his money (probably something he agreed to), because they made sales in December, after his death. They also have him invested in about 20 different sector etfs, which add up to a good portion of the S&P, so the separate purchase make no sense.  All I want to do is get my mother's money out of there and over to Vanguard.

I'm not an expert at this stuff, so my question is this. Does she have to convert the account into her name?  Or after they actually receive the death certificate, can we just liquidate everything and have them send us a check which we can then send to Vanguard? Or do we have to get the account in her name and then work with Vanguard to transfer the money over? Can we eliminate my father's adviser and send the paperwork somewhere else to get this taken care of? This lady is seriously pissing me off with her claims to having not received the paperwork.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 08:05:30 AM »
Certified US mail (USPS) should provide a legally binding receipt.

Pushing on a rope is certainly frustrating.   Good luck.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 08:11:14 AM »
This sounds complicated. you've got 3 trusts. the grandmothers, your fathers and now your MLs?  the brokerage may want copies of all three trusts involved.  Also, its not clear, but you may need to review the trust your father and sister actually created to see what the rules of the road are.

Financial advisors are salespeople and not actually good at this stuff.

dcozad999

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 08:17:06 AM »
There's currently only one trust, my father's.

ML wants to create a new trust for my mother, which I believe to be unnecessary. Ideally, I'd like to just send in the Death Certificate, close my father's account, and have them send my mother a check. Is that feasible?

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 01:05:30 PM »
Who is the trustee?  Are you or is your sister (sorry if I missed that)?  I would try to have the entire trust transferred OUT of ML in its current form and then deal with it.  Call Vanguard or Fidelity and see if they can help you get it transferred in its current state.  You may also consider retaining a trust and estates lawyer to assist you.  Its amazing how quickly companies find "lost" documents when they get a well drafted lawyer letter.  The lawyer will cost you money but probably less than you are paying in monthly fees to ML. 


dcozad999

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 02:28:36 PM »
My father was the trustee, with my mother as the beneficiary.

He passed away and they are trying to create a new trust with her as the trustee.

We don't need or want that. We just want her money out of their greasy little hands.

SunshineAZ

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 02:53:34 PM »
When I had difficulties with doing a rollover, I called Vanguard and had their representative do a conference call with me and the other financial company.  I was basically only there to verify/approve the transfer and answer any "security" questions.  The nice thing about going this route is that they are less likely to lie or try to BS you in the presence of the Vanguard representative. I also ended up doing this with my mother when she was trying to close out an old IRA. 

Good luck!

MarciaB

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 05:29:18 PM »
Can you show up at a ML office in person somewhere? Would that expedite some of this crap if you handed documents to a person and got a receipt or something? It sure sounds like they're trying to stymie you on this to preserve the status quo (their gain, your loss). The bastards.

Laura33

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 08:04:48 AM »
I would try to have the entire trust transferred OUT of ML in its current form and then deal with it.

This.  Vanguard has an incentive to get the money moved over to them; ML has an incentive to make it as difficult as possible to do so.  Ergo, get another financial institution with equal heft and an incentive to work for you on your side, and let them fight it out.  I see no reason why you should need to change the type of account before you change who holds it.

I would also send them a letter, certified mail, from whomever is the executor of the estate, instructing them to stop trading in your dad's account effective immediately.  Enclose a copy of the death certificate with it.  It is absolutely taking advantage of your mom for them to continue churning his account for fees after your dad's death and before they even let any of you have a say about it.  So put them on notice that the person with legal authority to speak for your dad is telling them to stop, now.

dcozad999

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 08:24:08 AM »
Can you show up at a ML office in person somewhere? Would that expedite some of this crap if you handed documents to a person and got a receipt or something? It sure sounds like they're trying to stymie you on this to preserve the status quo (their gain, your loss). The bastards.


This was my idea as well. Unfortunately the nearest office is about 60 miles away. They used to have one in town, but the guy changed firms.

dcozad999

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 08:26:31 AM »
I would try to have the entire trust transferred OUT of ML in its current form and then deal with it.

This.  Vanguard has an incentive to get the money moved over to them; ML has an incentive to make it as difficult as possible to do so.  Ergo, get another financial institution with equal heft and an incentive to work for you on your side, and let them fight it out.  I see no reason why you should need to change the type of account before you change who holds it.

I would also send them a letter, certified mail, from whomever is the executor of the estate, instructing them to stop trading in your dad's account effective immediately.  Enclose a copy of the death certificate with it.  It is absolutely taking advantage of your mom for them to continue churning his account for fees after your dad's death and before they even let any of you have a say about it.  So put them on notice that the person with legal authority to speak for your dad is telling them to stop, now.


Unfortunately, It can't be transferred out of ML until it gets moved into my mother's name. I spoke with a Vanguard rep yesterday and he confirmed this.

I'm sending the papers and death certificate out certified mail today. 

BuildingmyFIRE

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Re: Merrill Lynch Advice
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 10:12:06 AM »
I would try to have the entire trust transferred OUT of ML in its current form and then deal with it.

This.  Vanguard has an incentive to get the money moved over to them; ML has an incentive to make it as difficult as possible to do so.  Ergo, get another financial institution with equal heft and an incentive to work for you on your side, and let them fight it out.  I see no reason why you should need to change the type of account before you change who holds it.

I would also send them a letter, certified mail, from whomever is the executor of the estate, instructing them to stop trading in your dad's account effective immediately.  Enclose a copy of the death certificate with it.  It is absolutely taking advantage of your mom for them to continue churning his account for fees after your dad's death and before they even let any of you have a say about it.  So put them on notice that the person with legal authority to speak for your dad is telling them to stop, now.


Unfortunately, It can't be transferred out of ML until it gets moved into my mother's name. I spoke with a Vanguard rep yesterday and he confirmed this.

I'm sending the papers and death certificate out certified mail today.

Good luck, sorry my advice was no good.  If they still give you the runaround after this go-round, I still recommend hiring a lawyer.  :)