Is there anything I can do if my father left his girlfriend as sole benficiary? 13 Answers as of December 05, 2011

My father recently passed away and he left his girlfriend sole beneficiary of everything but there is no Will and they are not married. Is there anything I can do?

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Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
Your father's estate could sue her claiming the she used undue influence. You would have to establish that when he made the beneficiary designation, that your father was not of right mind.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/5/2011
Marco Sanchez Attorney at Law | Marco Sanchez
If there is no estate planning document (i.e. will, living trust. POD) then the laws of intestate rule. These rules state that the heirs would be of blood linage. If you are the closest relative to your father alive, then the law states that you would be heir to his estate.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/5/2011
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
There are circumstances where a beneficiary designation can be challenged, especially if you suspect wrong doing (i.e. duress), infirmity of mind, fraud, undue influence, etc. There may also be a circumstance where a duty to you could be relevant. These circumstances are somewhat unusual, however, you should seek the advice of an attorney who, upon a review of the facts, can assist you in determining whether or not there is a sound basis for your objection.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 12/3/2011
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
If your father made his girlfriend the beneficiary of non-probate assets like life insurance and/or retirement accounts, marital status is not important. He has the right to designate whomever he chooses. If there are probate assets and there is no Will designating a beneficiary, the law would likely make you the beneficiary of any assets available for distribution after payment of debts, taxes and costs of administration.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 12/3/2011
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
So, girlfriend is joint owner of all your father's accounts, or POD beneficiary, and beneficiary of IRAs and life insurance? Is she also a joint owner of the house, with right of survivorship? That last is important as she may be a joint owner as "tenant in common," in which case you inherit your dad's half. If there is nothing that is not jointly owned WROS, then there really isn't anything you can do except be nice to girlfriend and try to be in her will.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 12/3/2011
    Law Offices of Lorenzo L. Angelino | Lorenzo L. Angelino
    There is no way for your father to have left his girlfriend as sole beneficiary of his entire estate without a Will other than joint bank accounts, and joint tenancies with rights of survivorship on his real property.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/3/2011
    Martinson & Beason, PC
    Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
    Not unless he was incompetent or she unduly influenced him to make her the beneficiary. A person is allowed to leave their property to whomever they want and no one is "entitled" to an inheritance other than a spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC | Dean D. Stein
    Defeating a beneficiary designation is difficult. Typically, with a beneficiary designation, the asset passes to the named beneficiary outside probate. If you could show undue influence, fraud or that hehad diminished capacity at the time that prevented him from understanding the nature of what he was doing, you might be able to file suit to overturn the designations. You should consult an attorney on all the specifics of your matter.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    If there was no Will I assume he left everything to the girlfriend by having her name placed on all property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. If that is the case then there is no remedy.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    First I will assume that he was not married to one women and that he had a girlfriend on side. If that is the case, the wife would have rights. Assuming you were 18 or older when your unmarried/divorced dad died and he was competent when he made the beneficiary designations, he could leave his assets to whomever he choose, be it a girlfriend, boyfriend, charity, or family. There is no requirement that he provide for an adult child.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Your post makes no sense. If he had no will, he didn't have a beneficiary of his estate and she is not his heir. (If you mean he named her on insurance, no, there is nothing you can do about that).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If there is no will, how could she be made the sole beneficiary? There would have to be a will or trust to make her a beneficiary. The only other way she would be entitled to the property is if she was made a "joint tenant with rights of survivorship" on the checking account or real or personal property. If it is based on that is what he said it is what he wanted, oral statements are not valid to transfer property after death. Absent any of the above, the intestacy laws of the state where he lived will control, and without a will, generally the next in line is a legal spouse, and if there is none, then to the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/2/2011
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