How can my sister and I get our mom's pension? 20 Answers as of December 04, 2013

My mom passed away three weeks ago and had no beneficiary in her pension. How can we get the pension? My sister and I were her beneficiary's only for her life insurance and we were her power of attorney for health and my sister was her POA for financial.

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Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
I am sorry about the passing of your mother. If her pension did not have beneficiary designated, it will be payable to her estate. Therefore, you will need to open up a probate estate in the county in which she resided. If she has a will, you will need to apply to probate that as well. If she did not have a will, one of you will need to apply to be administrator of the estate and settle all of her debts and distribute her assets, including the pension.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/4/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
You and/or your sister can petition the probate court to name you or her as the executor of your mother's estate. If no beneficiary was listed for her pension it would become part of her estate, to be distributed according to her will or the intestacy laws of the state.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 12/2/2013
Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
Very few, if any, pension benefits go to children of the decedent. The pension benefits stop upon the death of the pensioner. Please note that pension benefits are different than 401(k)s. You and your sister should have the right to receive your mother's 401(k) if that is what she had and not a pension.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 12/2/2013
Douglas P. Barnes, A Professional Law Corp.
Douglas P. Barnes, A Professional Law Corp. | Judith N. Douglass
If you and your sister were the only children, you will receive the pension, however, most likely will need to open a probate. Given that there is no named beneficiary, the company will pay to "The Estate." If the value of the pension is under $150k, California provides for an alternate process that may allow you to collect the pension without going through probate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2013
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
You need to open a probate estate to pass property that did not go to you as a beneficiary. However, I am not sure that a pension can be passed on. Generally, it ceases when the person dies. You could talk with the pension office to see what they say.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 12/2/2013
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    Generally,a pension would end on her death unless she elected before she retired some form of survivor or guaranteed term of benefit, both of which would have reduced the amount of her monthly pension benefit during her lifetime.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/2/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    If there is a death benefit for the pension, which would be somewhat unusual, the first step is to contact the company to see how they handle that. Probate might also be necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/2/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    You need to talk to the pension benefits paying organization for whom she was employed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If it is less than $150,000 you can file a small estate affidavit under probate code section 13100 after 40 days have passed. If more than $150,00 you will need an attorney to help you through probate. This assumes that the pension had death benefits. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    The rules vary. Talk to the company that administers the pension plan. They will tell you what you need to do.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Richard M. Gee, a PC
    Richard M. Gee, a PC | Richard M. Gee
    You should contact the pension plan to determine what forms are needed and to what extent you are eligible for funds from the pension. You will probably need to get them a copy of her death certificate and any will naming the two of you as her beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Assuming that her pension has survivor benefits, you would need to file a probate petition to get those benefits.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    Depending on the value of her pension and whether or not she was survived by a spouse will determine whether you need to file a petition for probate (if pension is over $150,000) or you must wait 40 days from her date of death and provide a 13101 declaration to the pension administrator.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Not all pensions have a death benefit for survivors. When a pensioner retires he/she is often given the right to take a lesser monthly payment in return for extending the pension through the life of the surviving spouse. This does not generally apply to children of the pensioner. If the pensioner paid in a certain amount and that amount has not yet been paid in pension, there may be an amount that remains owing to her estate. If you are referring to an I.R.A., whatever remains is an asset of her estate if she did not designate a beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    Assuming that her pension does not end with the end of her life, contact the administrator of the pension and see what they have to say about the situation. If the amount is small, you may be able to give them an affidavit and collect the pension balance. Otherwise, you need to go into probate. The estate would be the beneficiary and probate will resolve the title, payment, and distribution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    You will have to contact the pension to confirm that there are survivor's benefits. Many pensions terminate upon the death of the recipient. If there are benefits, then you will need to fill out the paperwork required by the plan to prove that you and your sister are her heirs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Write to the holder of the pension because they may have specific steps that needs to be taken to secure your mom's pension.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You can see an attorney with the details but generally there is no pension following the death of the pensioner.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    I am sorry for your loss. Sounds like a probate may need to opened. I suggest that you speak with a probate attorney where your mother resided. Best of luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/27/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Check with the pension administrator. Someone was named the death beneficiary on the documents when the pension was established.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/27/2013
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