Our daughter listed my wife and I as beneficiaries is this considered part of her estate? 36 Answers as of February 04, 2013

Our daughter died in December, she listed my wife and I as her beneficiaries, now our youngest son and our daughters roommate, said we have to turn the proceeds over to her roommate because it’s part of the estate, is this correct?

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DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C.
DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C. | Douglas A. Tull
If you were beneficiaries of an insurance policy, an annuity or a qualified plan (IRA, 401k), no those interests are not part of an estate and do not have to be paid to your daughters other heirs. Under Michigan law, if your daughter died without a will, the laws of intestacy would award her estate (that passes through probate, anyway) to her siblings and to her parents (you) surviving her.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/4/2013
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
As stated, no. Really need more information. If anyone is a, beneficiary to a, financial account or life insurance, that money is not probated or part of the estate. This roommate is entitled to nothing unless your daughter had a will naming that roommate in it and identify what estate asset is devised to her. Her brother is entitled to nothing unless the will, if one, lists him as getting something. Not sure what "proceeds" you are referring to.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/4/2013
Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
No. Hire an Attorney in the County in which she lived and have him/her represent you. You said she "listed (you) as her beneficiaries", was that in a Will. If so, your son and daughter have no right to her assets. How does your daughters roommate have a claim? Ask the Attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/1/2013
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
Beneficiaries to what? Life insurance policy? Stock? Were the assets left via a will? An estate is established once an interested party files in the probate court to transfer the assets of a deceased person to the designated beneficiaries
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/1/2013
Office of Michael Hyde, Esq | Michael C. Hyde
Insurance proceeds are not part of the distributable portion of the decedent's estate. By virtue of being beneficiaries on her insurance policy, you have avoided any probate of that portion of her estate. It is like a direct bequest in a will. The money goes to you, not the estate. The roommate, without being married to your daughter has no standing to elect against a Will or intestate distribution of the estate. Your son is wrong.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/1/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    You are listed as beneficiaries of WHAT? What is the asset? How are you listed as beneficiaries? If you are beneficiaries under a Will or Trust, then that is one thing. If you are named or designated as TOD (transfer on death) or POD (payment on death) beneficiaries on an asset, then it is not part of any estate or trust and you would own the asset outright.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/1/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Not true. You will need to seek legal counsel to write a strong letter to the roommate and your youngest son, to turn over all of the deceased daughter assets to you, as you are the designated beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/1/2013
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Generally speaking, any asset that has a "beneficiary" is outside the probate state, and that asset passes directly to the named beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 2/1/2013
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    It would go to the people named in her will.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/1/2013
    Huddleston Law Group, LPA | C L Huddleston
    Baloney. If your daughter designated you and your wife as her beneficiaries, your son and your daughter's roommate have no rights to any of her property.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/1/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You should discuss the details with an attorney for firm advice, but generally life insurance beneficiaries, joint owners, etc take as a matter of law and outside of probate. Those assets as not part of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/1/2013
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
    Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
    No that is not correct. If you are a listed beneficiary on her financial accounts then you are legally entitled to that account or accounts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/1/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    I take it that you mean that you were listed as beneficiaries on some sore of account or insurance policy. If so, then you answer is "no." It is yours to keep. Even if it were part of her estate, why would it go to her roommate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    It depends upon the nature of the asset but beneficiary designations usually take the asset out of the estate and control over the beneficiary designation in the will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    I am not clear on your question as to what you mean by her estate. Your daughter's estate is whatever real and personal property she owned at the time of her death. What happens to that estate is a matter of either what her will states, if she had one, or if there was no will, who is entitled to the estate under the laws of the state where your daughter resided. If she had a will and gave everything to you, then you are the ones entitled to her estate as her will controls what happens to the estate. If she had no will, then the intestacy laws will control. If that is the case, then you would have to determine what the intestacy laws are in her state to see who is entitled to inherit her estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    You need to add some more information. Is this about life insurance, bank accounts, a trust, a will.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    If I understand correctly, your daughter listed you and your as beneficiaries on a life insurance policy or something similar. In Nevada that passes outside of probate and is not considered to be part of the estate. You don't have to share with anyone.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Beneficiaries of what? Life insurance? An IRA? To be clear, the "probate estate" is the part of a person's estate that must pass through the probate process (because it doesn't pass any other way). The "taxable estate" is the part of a person's estate which is subject to federal or state estate tax and what you have received is part of that, and may be subject to tax. There are other terms which define other aspects of the "estate." If you know your daughter's intent was that what you receive as her beneficiaries was to be applied to expenses of her estate, then you might feel bound morally to apply it as such. For example, people sometimes leave a small insurance policy to cover funeral costs, simply naming a person and directing that person to pay the expenses of the funeral. But otherwise, if she named you beneficiaries of something, then she meant for you to have it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    Any asset that designates a beneficiary, such as a life insurance policy, that asset is paid directly to the named beneficiaries. These assets are outside of the probate process. If the policy failed to designate a beneficiary, the proceeds would be paid directly to the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    If your daughter left assets solely in her name with no beneficiary, then those assets would be part of her estate and have to go through probate. If she had a Will, the Will dictates who gets the assets. If she does not have a Will, Florida law dictates who gets the assets. For instance, if your daughter had a bank account and you and your wife were joint on the account with her or listed as "payable on death" beneficiaries, then that asset does not go through probate. If she had life insurance that has a beneficiary designation - the asset does not go through probate. However, if she has an asset, such as real estate or a bank account that is not listed jointly with anyone and has no beneficiary designation, those types of assets would go through probate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    Your question is unclear. Is there an asset (like a bank account or an insurance policy) to which you are a named beneficiary? I do not see why anything would have to be turned over to the roommate, unless he was named in your daughter's will. You should see a probate lawyer in your area and discuss the situation in detail, in order to obtain a more definitive statement of the rights of everyone involved. There may be facts that are not presented in your question, but that would change the analysis.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    Probably not. You didn't say what you were the beneficiary of. If it's an insurance policy, then the policy language controls. If it's a joint account, things may be a bit more sticky.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    The situation you describe is strange. If your daughter had a will or trust naming you as the beneficiary, you should be legally entitled to the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    No, it is not correct. Property with a named beneficiary passes outside the probate estate. It is considered part of the taxable estate however. In addition, there are circumstances where you as beneficiaries can be pursued. You should consult with an attorney who specializes in estates and probate for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    No. The life insurance proceeds are yours, not your daughter's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    It depends what your daughter listed you as beneficiaries ON. If you were listed as beneficiaries on a bank account or an insurance policy, then those assets pass outside of probate. If your daughter listed you as beneficiaries on her will, then yes, those assets are party of the estate. However, unless your daughter nominated her roommate to be her executrix, don't give the assets to the roommate. If she died without a well, then you still get her assets, but again, it is part of the estate and had to be probated. You should meet with an attorney to him him or her all the details.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Law Offices of Phillip Day
    Law Offices of Phillip Day | Phillip Day
    First if your daughter is young and I'm making that assumption because she had a roommate, it is hard to believe she really had much of an estate unless she had insurance. But assuming that she had a lot of assets then all of those assets would technically be considered part of her estate. The real question however, is why would you have to turn anything over to the roommate, unless the roommate owned the assets. You really need to speak to an experienced probate attorney to get a better explain the facts and get a better idea of who owns what. It sounds like the roommate is trying to establish ownership rights over the assets that were in the joint possession of your daughter and roommate and it is unclear who owns what.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Claire Lindsay | Claire Lindsay
    I'm sorry for your loss. Did your daughter leave a will naming you and your wife as beneficiaries or did she leave you as beneficiary on a non-probate assets (like a 401(k), pay on death on her bank accounts)? If she left a will and she owed her roommate money then the roommate could make a claim against her estate but I can't think of a situation that you are required to "forfeit" the money. It would be best to hire an attorney to fully discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    In Oklahoma that is absolutely Not correct. It sounds like a scam.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    The Wideman Law Center, P.C. | Susan Wideman Schaible
    I am not sure I understand your question. However, if you are named as the beneficiaries of her assets, you alone should be the one's receiving them (possibly subject to creditor's claims). The roommate has no standing to claim anything unless her name was also on the assets or she was named as a beneficiary in a will or trust.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    Beneficiary designations such as in life insurance, investment annuities transfer outside the Probate Process. Barry Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Law Office of Jeffrey Lisnow | Jeffrey Lisnow
    You need to have an attorney review everything to determine what you are entitled to.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Roman Aminov
    Roman Aminov | Roman Aminov
    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's passing. There are different definitions of an "estate" used for different purposes. For your purposes, the beneficiary designation would control, and NOT her will. That is because assets with a beneficiary designation pass outside of probate directly to the named beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    What is the asset? If it is a pension, IRQA or life insurance, the named beneficiaries get the asst, and it is not part of the Probate Estate. It is still calculated in fro estate tax reporting purposes
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/31/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    Unless her roommate owns the belongings, they are your daughter's, and if you are the beneficiaries on her will, they belong to you.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 1/31/2013
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