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My sister manipulated a life insurance policy for 1 million dollars

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My sister had my mom change her bank accounts to pod to her. This changes was made with no one's knowledge but hers. The amount in those accounts were in excess of 200 k dollars. There is also a life insurance policy for 1 million dollars that stated my sister as beneficiary. While my mom was still alive I asked her if we could go to Merrill Lynch to ask some questions that put up red flags, this being one of them. At the last minute my mom told my sister we we're going and showed up there. She is executor and trustee of my mom's estate. When I asked the accountant about this insurance policy he stated that he had no control of these funds because they were not part of the trust. I asked why was my sister the only beneficiary on the policy? My sister said " i.n order to write an insurance policy you must have a beneficiary. I was the one that went with her. It will be turned over to the trust when Mom dies, let's go to lunch. Well it never was turned over to the trust. I asked her about this policy when Mom died and she said there was no policy for a million dollars. Is there a way to find out  about this policy and if in fact she did not turn it over. She will no longer speak to me or answer any communication from me. Is it not stated ithat a trustee is not allowed to receive or enter into any contract that would make her receive any gift or  or a substantially greater benefit then the other beneficiaries? I think 1 1/4 million dollars certainly constitutes a larger financial gain. Especially when she is the only one who had the information to set this up without anyone being able to put her in check before my mom died. She also has all the jewelry in her control now and will not give any of it to any of us. It was not part of the probate. This is the worst nightmare. My mother would not have went through a the trouble to make a will and a trust splitting everything up equally even adding my dead sisters children to receive her part of the estate only to leave the gold digger keys to the jewelry store. My mother would not have done this unless my sister told her something different then the truth. And the life insurance policy no way would she have done this. She told me exactly what my sister said. I know my mom probably didn't understand most of what the trust said or what my sister set her up to sighn. She is very European and doesn't understand alot of the English translation of documents. I have tried to speak to the probate attached in Denver and in FLA with no avail they did I have to talk to her. I have tried to talk to the Merrill Lynch accountant he also said I have to talk to her. I can't answer any questions about the will or trust as I have never seen either. And she of course won't respond to me. I know I need a lawyer but I can't really afford one at the present. What can I do on my own to find out about this insurance policy?

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1 hour ago, noneuno said:

Is there a way to find out  about this policy and if in fact she did not turn it over.

 

If the insurance policy had her as the beneficiary then she gets the money from it. There is no way to force her or the insurance company to disclose to you anything about an insurance policy with her as beneficiary unless you go to court over it. But going to court won't help you unless you can prove fraud or can make a good case that the deal was that the insurance was supposed to be paid to the trust (and thus get the court to impose a constructive trust on your sister). The problem with proving that what was really supposed to be done is the insurance was to go to the trust is that the trust itself would have been named beneficiary if that's what your mother wanted. There is no requirement that a person be named beneficiary. As for fraud or some other challenge to the insurance, that's a very tough thing to prove.

 

1 hour ago, noneuno said:

Is it not stated ithat a trustee is not allowed to receive or enter into any contract that would make her receive any gift or  or a substantially greater benefit then the other beneficiaries?

 

No. Your mother was perfectly free to give everything to your sister and nothing to you if she wanted. The insurance policy was bought by your mother and it was her choice to decide whom to name as beneficiary. That has nothing to do with your sister's role as trustee.

 

You'll need to consult a probate lawyer in the state where your mother was living when she died to see if you have anything to pursue. But understand that if you sister was simply good at sweet talking your mom into giving her a better deal then there is nothing you can do about there. There is nothing that says a kid can't butter up their mom to get a leg up in inheritance.

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2 hours ago, noneuno said:

What can I do on my own to find out about this insurance policy?

 

Try the following policy locator services. The first one is free, the second charges a fee.

 

https://www.naic.org/documents/consumer_alert_locate_lost_life_insurance_benefit.htm

 

https://www.mib.com/lost_life_insurance.html

 

 

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I just tried to order it. I must have proof I have a reason to request it or a letter from the insurance company or attorney stating I have a right to claim or that I have been named as beneficiary. I have no access to this either. Any other suggestion. 

 

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According to what I just read online you need EITHER proof of relationship OR a legal interest.

 

As her daughter your birth certificate and driver license should be enough.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SUL33W1RbyrY7cUClJuv1tZ7-ttc8nvh/view

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CHdd8pnVD_VkGU63qYP399AXmHExDX3w/view

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ruhYI8VxffdGjCGP-GAWHGdKFhOhIQrL/view

 

 

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On 2/5/2019 at 10:04 PM, Tax_Counsel said:

 

If the insurance policy had her as the beneficiary then she gets the money from it. There is no way to force her or the insurance company to disclose to you anything about an insurance policy with her as beneficiary unless you go to court over it. But going to court won't help you unless you can prove fraud or can make a good case that the deal was that the insurance was supposed to be paid to the trust (and thus get the court to impose a constructive trust on your sister). The problem with proving that what was really supposed to be done is the insurance was to go to the trust is that the trust itself would have been named beneficiary if that's what your mother wanted. There is no requirement that a person be named beneficiary. As for fraud or some other challenge to the insurance, that's a very tough thing to prove.

 

 

No. Your mother was perfectly free to give everything to your sister and nothing to you if she wanted. The insurance policy was bought by your mother and it was her choice to decide whom to name as beneficiary. That has nothing to do with your sister's role as trustee.

 

You'll need to consult a probate lawyer in the state where your mother was living when she died to see if you have anything to pursue. But understand that if you sister was simply good at sweet talking your mom into giving her a better deal then there is nothing you can do about there. There is nothing that says a kid can't butter up their mom to get a leg up in inheritance.

 

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On 2/5/2019 at 10:04 PM, Tax_Counsel said:

 

If the insurance policy had her as the beneficiary then she gets the money from it. There is no way to force her or the insurance company to disclose to you anything about an insurance policy with her as beneficiary unless you go to court over it. But going to court won't help you unless you can prove fraud or can make a good case that the deal was that the insurance was supposed to be paid to the trust (and thus get the court to impose a constructive trust on your sister). The problem with proving that what was really supposed to be done is the insurance was to go to the trust is that the trust itself would have been named beneficiary if that's what your mother wanted. There is no requirement that a person be named beneficiary. As for fraud or some other challenge to the insurance, that's a very tough thing to prove.

 

 

No. Your mother was perfectly free to give everything to your sister and nothing to you if she wanted. The insurance policy was bought by your mother and it was her choice to decide whom to name as beneficiary. That has nothing to do with your sister's role as trustee.

 

You'll need to consult a probate lawyer in the state where your mother was living when she died to see if you have anything to pursue. But understand that if you sister was simply good at sweet talking your mom into giving her a better deal then there is nothing you can do about there. There is nothing that says a kid can't butter up their mom to get a leg up in inheritance.

 

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I. Not trying to be an ass, really. I realize this is big money sometimes. But that's really a crappy way to put that. This gold digging b has even changed her name to my mom's to squeeze everything she can get. She has been practicing for this job her whole life. When you spend your whole life doing nothing but preparing your own future financially then it leaves the rest of us to find that loop hole when she screwed up. The insurance policy was taken out to cover all the taxes so that all our inheritance wasn't going to be eaten up in taxes. But the laws on inheritance taxes changed to 5 million. So that wasn't necessary. That's where the problem is . I saw the policy and knew what it was for, so did my older sister and knew what it was for, in fact the accountant for Merrill Lynch was made aware of it when we went to his office. Is that enough proof to bring it before the judge and ask where this policy is? My sister and I can not afford a lawyer to be at our disposal and paid for with our own money. The gold digger has all the lawyers at her disposal and we get to pay for it. There is something wrong with that . She has all the jewelry , we have none of it. She had me removed from my mom's house at 8 pm at night with a police escort, with no phone, no money, no car, no where to go because I questioned her about the bank accounts. I lived in this house with my mother for 8 years. She moved in and has moved in her 4 huge storage units of hoarder crap to the point you can't get in the door. She has wrecked my mom's Cadillac that now sits in the front yard because the garage is full of hoarder crap to the ceiling. She now travels back and forth between Denver and ft Lauderdale thinking she is my mother. She don't have to worry about her future she has already set herself up and hid it. The rest of it is just pocket change to her and she will let it get ate up in lawyers fees and investments and the jewelry isn't part of probate it was supposed to be split up. She won't let us have any of it. 

 I realize to some of you we might sound a little wacky but wtf.. It's not wacky when it's your family doing it to you. I'm asking because if she gets away with it it's not what my mom wanted it's what my gold digging sister wanted . I have made it my personal mission to find the loop hole or mistake she made. Even she is human and human make mistakes. 

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Seems like it is almost impossible to get the information you are looking for.

 

If you could research prior bank statements of your mother's to see if perhaps she was making monthly premium payments to an insurance company, that might be a clue, but the bank will normally not let anyone have access to those except the executor.

 

Talk to a private investigator to see if they could find for you a copy of your mother's credit report to look at the history of the companies who made inquiries to the credit bureau about her account history, to see if any insurance companies are listed there.''

 

If there is an insurance policy, I'd be willing to bet that sister submitted a fraudulent change of beneficiary designation form.

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Well I must be getting someone uncomfortable. She has now setup for some dirtbags to break into my mom's house and make it look like me. I can guess it is an attempt to discredit me or get me arrested so if I file a court request for a construction trust against her I won't be taken with any kind of credibility. She wasn't aware I was not in the state at the time, but guilt or innocent isn't always as important and just setting the mental image of doubt. I did talk to the guy at merriil Lynch and he does remember the meeting and conversation about the insurance policy. However he was not able to give me my mom's social or a letter showing I am a beneficiary.  That to me is rather odd. This whole legal topic is rather one sided and I'm curious how many people deal with this ? I don't think the laws are very fair, it appears by volume and weight but certainly not by context. It can't really be this hard to research or protect yourself. I have read the statues forward and back 10 times and I don't see anything that is written to put someone in check before probate not during. It's not during probate they have taken advantage, it's before anyone can question it and change it. 

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Is it worth it to you? I was cheated out of much of my parents' assets because my father and his brother were in cahootz, my uncle being an accountant. I am an only child, and I was told by my aunt (my mother's sister) that much of the money my parents had went to his brother who is still alive. Not in a will, but handed over while my father was still alive, it went to Madoff's investment firm, and my uncle said he lost millions there, but evidently recovered much of it. My aunt said much of that was my father's money. So there is nothing I can do. My father trusted my uncle who was the executor of the estate. However, I have a retirement income and social security, while not huge, will keep me going. He left me some money (not much) and I paid off my debts which my husband racked up and which took us out of debt since then, but is it worth it to you to keep going after the money like that? I have settled within myself that my father was a lying cheat, my uncle was (is) a liar which I know for a fact, having passed himself off as my father's son. (He's 18 years younger than my father was.) I have nothing to do with my uncle and his family now. But it's better than being all upset. My uncle, being a top-notch accountant for a very large firm, knew all the in's and out's of hiding money..

I feel bad you are going through this, I know it is a terrible experience. I hope things work out, but you really need to try to mentally settle with it and not get yourself too worked up or in trouble. If you have proof she made it look like you broke into the home I'd see what I could do to report that. Ask on the board what they think you should do to contradict the idea that you broke into the house. Sorry if this is not technical advice, I only know the strain and stress I went through trying to work through a bunch of liars. Not easy, and sometimes you won't win. Don't get yourself too worked up about it and get yourself into trouble or have a stroke, etc. That is my advice.

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If your mother died in Colorado, you can order her death certificate just by virtue of being her child, by showing proof of relationship.  If your birth certificate shows her name, you can apply to get her death certificate, which I assume will show the SSN.

 

It is possible that your mother put all of her assets into a trust.  Did she also have a will? What county in Colorado is this?  Check the county courthouse records online by doing a search using your mother's name to see if her will is being probated in court.  If she had a will and if you were named beneficiary, the executor should have mailed you a ,copy of it or you can go to the courthouse to look at it in person.  

 

Please do not give up.  If your sister has NOT filed to open up probate at the county courthouse, YOU (or an attorney you hire) can open up an intestate probate (meaning a proceeding where there is no will).  You or the attorney will be named as administrator (not executor), and the administrator will then receive a certified document called letters testamentary.  The administrator will then have the legal authority to get the bank records, order copies of your mother's personal income tax returns, and can also get information from Merrill Lynch about her account there.  You will probably find many clues about your mother's assets that will help you and your attorney investigate further.

 

Was your mother employed at the time of her death or was she retired?  If you know where she worked, you can ask the company if she purchased life insurance there while she was an employee and perhaps she paid for it with a monthly premium that was deducted from her paycheck.

 

If you have a job, you should be able to afford the filing fees for this (or do you have a friend or relative who could help you pay this?).  If you tell the attorney that there may be potential for significant assets here, they may work out an affordable payment plan with you or do it pro-bono with an expectation of receiving a fee later on if assets are recovered.

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