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Crap, my browser crashed when I submitted a reply. It doesn't seem to have posted. If this a duplicate please ignore.

You need an estate attorney. I would ask professional acquaintances such as a minister or your attorney friend for suggestions. Or you could try the phone book.

Well, my friend is in Michigan and I am in California. He wasn't sure what kind of person I should talk to other than finding someone from California. I still don't really know very many people here so it looks like the yellow pages. I will look for an estate attorney.

Second, should you serve as executor or administrator of the estate? You should find the will, if one exists. Third, how should her affairs be put in order?

This may seem like a stupid question but what estate and what affairs? There was no will. Her mental condition deteriorated before we could get her to sign one. She owned no property and no car. My aunt donated her furniture and took it back when she went into the nursing home. She had no family heirlooms, great dinnerware, etc..

One complexity on your future tax calculations: How much must you withdraw each year from the inherited IRA.

Now here is a big question. She turned 70 in January. She has been receiving $500 a month from the account, which is less than the interest it was accumulating. I will be 39 this week. It is invested at what seems a relatively low rate, though it is growing tax free. It seems that I could net more by taking it out and reinvesting at a significantly higher rate. But what what is the optimal rate to take it out? I obviously need a professional for these questions but what kind? Tax Lawyer? Accountant? Financial Planner? All Three? Some other type of professional? Thanks for your help.
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