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RebeccaSav

Estate Administrator vs retirement & life insurance beneficiary

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An estate administrator is making a claim to the retirement account and life insurance policy but both accounts have a named beneficiary.

The person named beneficiary is non spouse.

Desceased was never married no children and left no will.

Estate administrator has frozen the retirement acct and life ins acct with some type of temporary restraining order. But hasn't filed any motions in court.

Retirement and life insurance are not part of an estate and do not go thru probate. Not sure why this 3rd party has jurisdiction without a court document to place a hold on a beneficiaries money?

What is proper procedure in NYC?

Insured has been deceased for 5 months going on 6 soon.

Life ins or retirement have NOT Been paid to beneficiary.

Insurance companies said to be waiting for court order.

What court order ?when the beneficiary being contested is not even aware of what is being filed or where neither getting served any paperwork.

Estate administrator hasn't filed any additional info or evidence since July when they opened a claim.

Administration of estate was given to the surviving parents by law since no will was left but the parents appointed the sibling to handle the apt search and estate administration duties.

estate administrator did not notify beneficiary at any point of the passing or that the person was named beneficiary.

Ins co sent beneficiary letter months after the passing of insured.

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Having been in the insurance business for 35 years I can't imagine how the administrator was able to "freeze" the retirement and life insurance account where a beneficiary was listed and contacted by the custodians of the accounts.

 

Are you the named beneficiary?

 

If you are you need an attorney.

 

If you aren't, relay this admonition to the beneficiary: Get an attorney.

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Estate administrator has frozen the retirement acct and life ins acct with some type of temporary restraining order. But hasn't filed any motions in court.

 

You can't get an order without filing a motion, so at least one part of this sentence is incorrect.

 

 

 

Not sure why this 3rd party has jurisdiction without a court document to place a hold on a beneficiaries money?

 

Despite your use of a question mark, this sentence isn't a question.  If you intended a question, it's not clear what you intended to ask.  Also, "jurisdiction" (which refers to a court's power to make orders affecting a particular person or regarding a particular subject matter) doesn't make sense in this context.

 

 

 

What is proper procedure in NYC?

 

Proper procedure for what?

 

 

 

Insurance companies said to be waiting for court order.

What court order ?

 

The phrasing of the first sentence here is a little odd.  However, it seems like this question would be better directed to folks at the insurers in question.

 

It's hard to imagine any insurer who issued a life insurance policy failing to pay death benefits to the named beneficiary who has presented a death certificate without a court order.  Same for an administrator of a retirement account.  You didn't say what your intereset in this matter is, but the named beneficiary should be obtaining clear information from the life insurer and retirement account administrator about why the benefits aren't being paid and then consult with a local attorney (or just go to the attorney in the first instance).

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What was in the letter that the insurance company sent to the beneficiary?  Just a notice to inform the beneficiary that the insurance company is waiting for a court order (sometimes in insurance actions it is called an interpleader) so that the court can decide who gets the money?  Maybe the insurance company has filed the motion in court--the beneficiary should be asking the insurance company if that has happened.  Yes, the beneficiary needs to get his own attorney: because he is the designated beneficiary he is in the strongest position to win this matter.  The only complication I can imagine is:  is the beneficiary a same-sex partner of the decedent?  If that is the case, then the beneficiary will need to ask his attorney whether or not his ability to inherit is affected by New York state law.  As it stands now, it looks like the family is retaliating against the beneficiary simply out of spite, with no justifiable reason to do so, just to make probate a long drawn out process.

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The only complication I can imagine is:  is the beneficiary a same-sex partner of the decedent?  If that is the case, then the beneficiary will need to ask his attorney whether or not his ability to inherit is affected by New York state law. 

 

 

As a named beneficiary of a retirement fund or life insurance policy his ability to "collect" has nothing to do with his ability to "inherit" as both are not part of the estate for probate purposes.

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I am the beneficiary to both accounts.

My question is: can this be thrown out for bad service I haven't been notified of any court filings or served any papers from contesting party.

My question in general is how can the administrator of estate freeze my assets without that court order?

If the person that deceased deceased in NYC nothing is filed at the surrogates court in NYC as per a phone call yesterday with the court.

Insurance companies have not sent me any copies of what the other party submitted in order to freeze assets even tho I requested them in writing.

Instead they wrote me a letter and provided me with the 3rd parties attorney and basically Is making me go fetch the information.

I wrote the attorney a certified letter that he received a week ago and hasn't responded to yet. And again I called insurance companies and they are waiting on a court order.

Question is what are they waiting for if nothing has been filed and how can they have frozen it without a legal court document saying so.

Thank you

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I am the beneficiary to both accounts.

Question is what are they waiting for if nothing has been filed and how can they have frozen it without a legal court document saying so.

 

 

I don't know, you don't know, the estate administrators aren't telling, and the companies aren't telling.

 

Speculation is useless.

 

Nothing changes until you hire your own lawyer to deal with the accounts and protect your interests.

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My question is: can this be thrown out for bad service I haven't been notified of any court filings or served any papers from contesting party.

 

I'm not sure what "this" refers to (particularly since you've said that no action to administer the estate is pending).

 

It's not clear from anything you've written that any court proceeding has been filed concerning the benefits to which you claim entitlement.  If someone has told you that there is a court order that affects those benefits, ask for a copy (or at least the name of the court where the case was filed and the case number).

 

 

 

My question in general is how can the administrator of estate freeze my assets without that court order?

 

I doubt you really want to know how this was done (if it was done).  The problem at this point is that you don't have all the relevant facts.  In your original post, you wrote that the "Estate administrator has frozen the retirement acct and life ins acct with some type of temporary restraining order[, b]ut hasn't filed any motions in court.  As I pointed out in my prior response, both parts of that statement cannot possibly be true.  Unfortunately, you ignored my comment in your follow up post, so that portion of the discussion is at a dead end.

 

 

 

If the person that deceased deceased in NYC nothing is filed at the surrogates court in NYC as per a phone call yesterday with the court.

 

I think you're saying that there is no pending action to administer the estate (which makes me wonder how the "estate administrator" to whom you have referred got the power he/she apparently claims to have and why anyone would take any action on his/her purported status as administrator).

 

 

 

Insurance companies have not sent me any copies of what the other party submitted in order to freeze assets even tho I requested them in writing.

Instead they wrote me a letter and provided me with the 3rd parties attorney and basically Is making me go fetch the information.

I wrote the attorney a certified letter that he received a week ago and hasn't responded to yet.

 

Howzabout picking up the phone and making a call (either to this attorney or to the purported administrator)?

 

Please refer back to the first sentence of the last paragraph of my prior response and strongly consider retaining an attorney to represent your interests.

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You previously commented that "estate administration was given to the parents"--have you checked the county courthouse probate records online to determine if in fact anything has been opened on this estate?  Parents or anyone else is NOT officially in charge of administering an estate until an official filing is done.

 

By "bad service" I assume you mean you were not given proper notice of any relevant proceedings.  It's too soon to determine if that has happened yet since you do not have all of the facts.

 

As far as you know is there any animosity or resentment by the family against the beneficiary?  This is mere speculation on my part, but it is possible that someone in the decedent's family persuaded him to name someone else as a beneficiary (AFTER you had been previously designated) by submitting a fraudulent beneficiary change form perhaps by also assuming a signed power of attorney would give them that power when it actually doesn't (that's fraudulent), or maybe the decedent decided on his own to name someone else as beneficiary for both assets and did not want you to know about it, thus the insurance company's and the retirement fund's reluctance to give you information:  if it turns out that you are not in fact the designated beneficiary, then they are not legally obligated to give you any information about these assets.

 

This is truly a mystery that will not be solved until you have hired an attorney, who will need to ask the insurance company and the retirement account company whether the beneficiary designation was changed at any time in the past.  Stop being so naive in assuming an attorney you sent a letter to would respond.  Your own attorney will be able to aggressively go to bat for you and get to the bottom of what is actually going on here.

**************************************************

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If I were you I would be looking to hire an attorney who specializes in insurance interpleader cases.  Whether or not fraud has occurred here, a trial will determine who in fact is the legal beneficiary of these assets.

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I apologize for how confusing or unclear this post has been i am a new user and did not see many questions from my phone.I will make a timeline of events and details and list everything i have done or the info i have received.

 

Misc Details:

I am the named beneficiary to both the retirement account and the life ins policy.

i was notified in a letter by both companies received months after the deceased passed.

i (beneficiary live in another state far from where the deceased resided and passed.

Decedent passed in March, in his home,of a heart attack and was found on or about 10 days later.

Decedents family did not visit him.

Decedent was never married and NO children.

Decedent did not own real estate.

Decedent did NOT leave a WILL

i have called multiple times to surrogates court and nothing else is filed there as of May. 

Documents filed in Surrogates court are: 

-Decree Granting Letters of Administration (awarded to sister of decedent)

-family tree chart

-cremation receipts /funeral home documents

-combined verification, oath and designation signed by sister of decedent

-verification of petition to search for will

-affidavit to dispense with the filing of a bond.

-a petition to search apt of deceased where the parents of deceased designate the sister of deceased to conduct the search on their behalf.

-sister of deceased also filed for a petition of letters of administration she was also granted that petition

-no other documents are filed in estate file in surrogates court

 IN June-

I (beneficiary) received a letter from the retirement company stating that i was named beneficiary. They requested that i send the death certificate and filled out the claim form and sent it back in order to transfer ownership to my name.

 

I requested from Vital Records the Death Certificate almost a month later received it.

i sent a copy and the filled out claim form to the retirement company.

Where they replied with a letter stating that "another party has decided to contest the beneficiary designation and that they have been informed that the other party obtained a temporary restraining order, until legal issues are unable to release the accumulation of the contract. They also provided the 3rd parties attorney if i wished to reach out to him.

 

I replied to the retirement company that i requested the documentation and or court orders or motions submitted by the 3rd party in order to contest, and as of a result "freeze" my assets with their company.

 

INSURANCE CO. DID NOT RESOND TO MY LETTER.

I Reached out to their legal dept on the phone and they are going to reach out to 3rd party attorney and call me back.

they also stated they do not have any documents at this time they can send me copies of.

 

*********************************************************************************************************************

Life Ins Co reached out to me in writing in July to inform me that I'm a beneficiary on that policy to submit the death certificate and fill out the claim form and fax it back.

I faxed them back as requested .

 

The life ins co replied with a letter in Aug. that they are unable to render a determination at this time and require an extension of time to properly evaluate the claim. that nothing else is required from me and that in the next 30 days they should be making a decision. 

I also immediately called the life ins co after seeing this letter and they reached out to the attorney of the 3rd party ( executor of the estate) which is making a claim towards the proceeds. The attorney stated to the claim examiner from the life ins co that he will file something by OCTOBER! 

If nothing is filed in court how did the 3rd party freeze my assets?

Why haven't i still been served with any court documents stating that someone wants to contest my beneficiary designation.

 

its very odd ins co. cannot send me copies or tell me what court 

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i have called multiple times to surrogates court and nothing else is filed there as of May. 

Documents filed in Surrogates court are: 

-Decree Granting Letters of Administration (awarded to sister of decedent)

-family tree chart

-cremation receipts /funeral home documents

-combined verification, oath and designation signed by sister of decedent

-verification of petition to search for will

-affidavit to dispense with the filing of a bond.

-a petition to search apt of deceased where the parents of deceased designate the sister of deceased to conduct the search on their behalf.

-sister of deceased also filed for a petition of letters of administration she was also granted that petition

-no other documents are filed in estate file in surrogates court

 

 

First and foremost, neither the benefits administrator nor the insurance company are your firends. They are not your advocates and will not necessarily have access to (or care to have) every document filed with the surrogates court. While it would be nice if either could provide you with a copy of the alleged restraining order, that will not be of much benefit to you. Clearly, by the list of documents you indicate have been filed, the decedent's family has opened probate and, I suspect from you document description, the court has granted authority to an estate administrator. I cannot speak to why certain documents may or may not be available or accessible in the file, but the bottom line is, as has been repeatedly stated, GET A LAWYER.

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RebeccaSav,

 

Thank you for the post.  i may be misreading but your actual assets haven't been frozen.  You a being prevented from receiving benefits because another claimant has made a claim.  Have you tried to contact the 3rd party attorney directly?

 

You can also look to the county where the descendant resided for the court documents.  What county was that?

 

In the meantime you can begin searching for an attorney. This link to our lawyer directory may help.

 

Please feel free to continue to post your legal questions at our forums,

 

-The FindLaw.com Team

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They also provided the 3rd parties attorney if i wished to reach out to him....

 

If nothing is filed in court how did the 3rd party freeze my assets?

 

Did you try contacting that third party’s attorney? If not, why not? He or she could tell you where any court action he or she filed was done and direct you to that court or provide you with copies of the filings himself/herself. That would seem to be the most direct way of finding out what is going on. Try to learn from that attorney as much as you can. 

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