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Beneficiary changed after death

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ikillratz

Active Member
My mom was listed as a beneficiary on her sister's life insurance policies and her 403b retirement plan. On the retirement plan my mom was 50% beneficiary and her sister's husband was also 50% beneficiary. When the husband went to file claims on the policies he was surprised my mom was the beneficiary on the plans and acted as if there were papers at home that were not filed that made him 100% beneficiary on all the policies. The husband submitted papers about 3 weeks after the death and then my mom called the 403b company and they told her since the papers submitted had a date on them before the death they accepted the papers and took her off as the beneficiary. Is this right? Also, the life insurance told my mom they got similar papers and are now freezing the funds and won't release them until either a court tells them too or my mom and the spouse make a notarized agreement. I though on both the retirement and life insurance all that matters was what was on file at the time of death and things can't change after the death. How is the spouse able to submit papers after the death and change the beneficiaries?
 


ikillratz

Active Member
Are beneficiary papers legal if they are signed and dated and left at home and not filed with the proper companies? I talked to one lawyer and he said if something is signed and dated it is legally binding even if it isn't turned in to the insurance and retirement companies. Is that right?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Are beneficiary papers legal if they are signed and dated and left at home and not filed with the proper companies? I talked to one lawyer and he said if something is signed and dated it is legally binding even if it isn't turned in to the insurance and retirement companies. Is that right?
Talk to another attorney. Actually, several others.
 

Pinkie39

Member
Is it possible that the retirement fund did not allow someone other than the spouse to be appointed as a beneficiary without written consent of the spouse?

I have a pension fund with a previous employer where that applies, as it also does with my government pension fund with my current employer. .
 

ikillratz

Active Member
I doubt it. An agent was on the phone with my mom when she was a beneficiary at first when the husband went to claim the money. The agent said the husband was 50% and my mom was 50%. There is only an issue now because the husband is fighting it. If my mom wasn't allowed to be a beneficiary I think the retirement company wouldn't of allowed it.
 

ikillratz

Active Member
(Just in case you missed it)

...and, in case it isn't obvious, it's your mom that will need to talk to the attorneys, etc. You really have no legal place in this.
trying to get her advise
Yeah I know, I am just trying to get her advise
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
trying to get her advise
Yeah I know, I am just trying to get her advise
Your Mom needs to contact more lawyers either today or first thing Tuesday. Time is not her friend on this. Once the money is released, getting it back may be close to impossible. Certainly harder than stopping the Plan from releasing it.

How much money are we talking about?
 

ikillratz

Active Member
The retirement is $93K. The life insurance is $118K. The life insurance is frozen right now due to the beneficiary form the husband submitted
 

ikillratz

Active Member
Thanks for all the advise. It seems it all boils down to determining if a paper you sign and date st home charging beneficiaries is legally binding or if it needs to be turned into the retirement company to be legal. This is assuming my Aunt actually signed and dated the forms herself. It is suspicious she didn't turn the papers in. The husband is trying to say she got the papers and signed them just a few days before she died of cancer. From what I know, cancer isn't a sudden death. If she actually intended to sign and turn in the papers it is weird she did it right before she was bedridden in hospice.
 

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