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Savings Account Beneficiary Designation

Benicia, CA |

Before my sister died, she promised me that she would designate me as the "primary beneficiary" on her savings account. Sister died last month and when I went to the bank, it appears that the beneficiary designation form was never changed to include me but some else. This other person hasn't seen or heard from my sister in over 10 years. So, is there any legal action I can take to get named as Primary Beneficiary?
Tahnk you kinly.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I'm sorry to hear about your sister. Unfortunately the savings account will pass according to the beneficiary designation most recently filed with the bank. The beneficiary designation cannot be changed now that your sister has passed.

This answer is for information only and does not constitute legal advice. This communication does not constitute, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is general only and you should not act upon this information without consulting an attorney.


The promise is probably unenforceable especially if you did not take any action in reliance of it.

The signature card will be determinative.

I think you are out of luck. Sorry,. Certainly, you can check in with a lawyer and one who practices in whatever jurisdiction where your sister lived when she died is the right place.

No legal representation exists by virtue of this answer. Consult your attorney. Licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois. Circular 230 Disclosure: any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any matters addressed herein.


It depends on how much is in the estate and what procedure to use but if there is no will then you can't be named a primary beneficiary post death without an agreement of all potential beneficiaries. Probate her estate or seek the services of a Probate attorney to help.

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