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Can I get my deceased husbands pension even if he didn't put my name on the pension document?

Rochester, NY |

My husband passed away 2yrs ago. I called the retirement agency and sent them his death certificate. They told me that I was not on their documents although we were married at the time of his death. Do I have any recourse to find out if I can get his retirement and also to find out where the money went to since I am not presently getting it.

Attorney Answers 2


If you were not the listed beneficiary, there may have been some other beneficiary or there may have been no beneficiary listed. If the latter, the asset would go into his estate. If the former, then you would still be entitled to at least one third of the estate, under New York's law of spousal election. As a first step, try to find out whether there was a listed beneficiary.

If your husband had a will, you should probate that will. If your husband died without a will, you can file an administration proceeding.

You really should promptly contact an attorney. If you would like, you may feel free to contact me either by e-mail (listed below) or at 212-791-6240. Of course, you can feel free to contact any attorney of your choosing, but you should not delay.

Good luck to you.

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This depends on whether or not your husband's pension was governed by ERISA. If it was, spouse's are always protected. Often times the intake claims person will not know this and you need a lawyer to speak to legal. Good luck.
Sharon M. Siegel

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