If you do not have any beneficiaries listed on your investments and you pass, does that money end up with the state? 7 Answers as of July 25, 2014

My mother's investments are in Florida. Her residence is in Michigan. She has listed my sister and I as primary beneficiaries but do not have any contingents listed. What would happen to those dollars if there were no beneficiaries listed? Would the government get that money?

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John Ceci PLLC
John Ceci PLLC | John Ceci
It depends on the wording of the beneficiary designation. It may also depend on whether the investment company has a policy that controls if there is no living beneficiary. But the norm would be for investment monies to be paid to a person's estate before being paid to the State.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
No the money would first go to her estate, and if she left no heirs it might go to the government.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2014
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
If no heirs whatsoever, then it goes to the state after any deductions. A charity would be better than the state taking it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2014
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
Very unlikely. In all likelihood, your mother's money would simply pass to her "next of kin" under intestacy laws. I assume your mother did not leave a Will. If she left a Will, then THAT should specify contingent beneficiaries. The government would only get the money if there are no heirs. If you and your sister are the only heirs, (and you have no living descendants), then this should be looked at a bit more closely.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2014
Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
No. The assets in those accts. without beneficiaries would be part of her probate estate. If she has a Will, those assets would go to those specified in the Will. If she doesn't have a Will, then those assets would be distributed to the individuals provided for under the State's laws of intestacy.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2014
    Law Offices of Ezra N. Goldman
    Law Offices of Ezra N. Goldman | Ezra Goldman
    The government is last in line to get the money. But I need some details to give you a full answer. If a person names no beneficiaries, property goes to the heirs anyway, assuming there are any. So, if you and your sister predecease your mother, her property goes to her other heirs, who may just be your heirs. In case there is uncertainty about that, the state may end up holding the money as unclaimed property until someone claims it but it wouldn't actually be the state's money unless there were no heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    No, unless there were no heirs which could be found under the Michigan laws of intestacy (distribution of assets of a deceased who did not have a will). Your mother should confer with an attorney to assure her assets are distributed in accord with her wishes upon her death and the taxes on the transfers, and their availability to her creditors are minimized.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/25/2014
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