I found unclaimed cash for my father from an insurance company and the dept of revenue wants a notarized written disclaimer from heirs listed in the will. My father has been deceased for 9 yrs and the estate has been closed for 7 years, I can provide the copy of death certificate, will and I am listed in the will, but there are a total of 9 people in the will and all of them are either completely financially stable or well off and they are all scattered about and I am not in touch with any of them. I am suddenly and unexpectedly without a job and even a home now and honestly just want to claim this unclaimed cash for myself. I don't even have a clue how much it is, just that it is over 100> and I want to claim it for myself. Can I do this or do I need consent from every single heir?
Estate Planning Attorney
If it is estate property (not beneficiary designated to you only) then it goes in the estate and follows what the will says, period. If you aren't as well off as the others that is irrelevant. Perhaps the others will agree to let you keep it but that would be a settlement up to them.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature.
Estate Planning Attorney
Attorney Zellinger is correct. If the will says "all my estate to the following 9 people" and you try to claim the money without letting them know, you are basically stealing from them. I think you know this. Now assuming the policy listed the estate as beneficiary or someone who died before your father, there is still a possibility that you will not legally be required to split the insurance 9 ways. Look at the will, or better yet, have an attorney look at it. Are each of the 9 people listed outright beneficiaries under the will? Are some contingent beneficiaries who would only inherit if a primary beneficiary were to die before your father? If the other 8 people inherit, do they inherit the same percentage as you? Then begin the process of tracking them down. If they are as well-off as you think, some may be willing to disclaim the money.
This answer provides general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. It is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The attorney writing this post is licensed in Texas and Washington only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ.
Unfortunately, financial need does not mean money can pass contrary to the terms of the estate.
This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit www.justinelderlaw.com.