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Financial Question


rmm17

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Hi! I am not sure if this is the right board to ask this question and i am sorry if i offend anyone. I dont know who else to ask. We (my brothers and I) are having some difficulties regarding Mom's life insurance. She told us that we would each receive a significant benefit. Well, her "friend" is the one handling most of her wishes b/c she told him everything that she wanted. He is not the executor of the estate. There is no executor. We each just received a cashiers check from her "friend" for $5000. This is much less than Mom told us. He said that the rest of the money is in something with the insurance company...like a blind annuity...or something like that. He promised that we would get another check at some later date...maybe when we are 25? But he said that my Mom didnt want us to know about it. This all seems pretty strange to me and I dont have anyone else to ask. Does anyone know anything about this annuity-like thing to be paid at a later date? Is it possible that my mom's "friend" could be hanging us out to dry? Also, what will happen now that there is no executor of her estate? I am so sorry for all the questions. My dad refuses to help b/c he did not get along with my mom or her fiend. I am only 22 and have not had any experience with this type of stuff. Thanks so much.

Rochelle

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You can go to court and have yourself appointed executor of the estate if your mom did not leave a will appointing one.

It is costing us around $1500 for the attorney and the court date (my mom did name an executor so it will be easy just getting the documentation to access her accounts)

I'm sorry I don't have the exact answer except to say do a google search and then call an attorney in your state that does probate law and knows the laws of your state. They will consult with you over the phone for free, let you know what you need and then give you a fee if you decide to move ahead. As her oldest child, and if she was not married at the time of her death, and if there is no will stating otherwise, you have the right by law to handle her estate.

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Rochelle -

In general, if there are no assets to probate there will be no estate and, therefore, no executor.

It sounds as though the life insurance is a nonprobate asset. That is, it passes according to the beneficiary designated by your mother. I find it curious that if you and your siblings are the beneficiaries of the policy that the check you received was on your mother's friend's bank account and did not come directly from the insurance company.

I suggest that you try to obtain information about the insurance company and then contact the insurance company before you spend any $$ on an attorney. The insurance company should be able to give you specific information about the policy and the benefits.

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Thanks for you replies. I have a feeling my mom listed her friend as the beneficiary and gave him instructions on how to divide up the money. She trusts him and perhaps she wanted to save me the trouble of dealing with all of the insurance stuff. I just hope that he honors her wishes.

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Rochelle. Ask for the insurance companies name and a copy of the policy.

Let's start there.

Also, did your mom have a will?

Yikes, reading this bothers me...a lot. You are 22, you are an adult. Demand you are kept in the loop an know everything.

It's your right...you are too young to have to deal with this...but you are old enough to be able to.

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Rochelle, I'm so sorry you have something else to worry about now. If I were you, I would definitely listen to Katie's advise, as she knows her stuff when it comes to legal issues. Make sure you have all the legal information correct...that sometimes requires an attorney. But, most attorneys will offer a free consultation. Maybe a paralegal could even research this for you. I don't think it would be out of line to ask for a copy of the insurance policy and then, contact the company yourself. Like others, I don't know why this "friend" is sending out personal checks rather that the insurance company. Hoping everything goes smoothly.

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Rochelle - please pm me, if you wish (I can't figure out how to do that). I use to be a probate and estate planning attorney. I am wondering if, in addition to the insurance, your mother had bank accounts, securities, a car, a house or other assets titled in her name. If so, you may need to start a probate. You should ask a few questions before you decide to trust your mother's friend.

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