I found out this information by accident. My sister is the executor of my mother's estate and has not informed me of this policy. I wonder if there are other things as well involving her estate that I am unaware of that I may be entitled to. How can I find this information and collect on what was designated to me?
Estate Planning Attorney
Assets that have a named beneficiary pass outside of the Will. This means, that regardless of what mom's will says, you would be entitled to the life insurance proceeds. If your sister has been appointed the Executor by the Clerk's office she would have been required to list any and all assets that were in mom's name at her death on the Application. Although the Probate Court does not control assets with named beneficiaries or joint with rights of survivorship, an Executor is required to list these as well. The file is a public document. I would first suggest that you take a look at the file and the application that was submitted to determine what assets were known of when it was filed. In addition, if you were named as a beneficiary on any other asset, she would not be able to collect this on your behalf. The financial institutions would be required to make payment directly to you. If you suspect that she is not being candid with the Court, I would suggest you contact a Probate attorney to discuss this matter further. There are Court procedures in place to safe guard against this. Best of luck.
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Estate Planning Attorney
Your sister is obligated to advise and turn over any accounts that name you as beneficiary.
No one else can collect these accounts.
You might consider hiring an attorney to demand that she be notified of her obligations in this regard.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
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Assets such as life insurance, retirement plans and bank accounts often have beneficiary designations. Such assets avoid probate. If you are named they are yours to claim. The question becomes how can you get your sister to divulge such information. I would suggest you hire an attorney to write to your sister, so she knows you mean business.