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Beneficiary on an Annuity help

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Sweet10

Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NY
My dad passed and he had some annuities, the way the beneficiaries were written up were in general terms. Like wife & children. He did not list anyone's specific name except the wife. So if he had 2,3,4,5 children which children get the annuity? who decides which children? My problem is the wife picked which children she wanted it to go to and submitted claim for them and left off other children. Where do I go with this????? TIA
 


Dandy Don

Senior Member
Is this mother the mother of all of the children or is there a stepmother involved?

Did he leave a last will and testament that is going to be probated in court (this doesn't really matter, but I was just curious).

If the children (who were left out) know the name of the annuity company, then they (or an adult who is representing them) need to contact this company by certified letter to let the company know about this situation so that they can at least be aware of it. Then these children can wait to see how the annuity company responds.

Hopefully the company will allow the omitted children to be included. If the children are denied, then the children need to hire their own attorney to contact the annuity company on their behalf. Preferably a business law attorney who has experience with interpleader actions with insurance companies or annuity companies.
 
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Sweet10

Junior Member
stepmother is involved - there was no will - I did contact the company and they "claim it was paid out according to beneficiary", I told them that not all children were included and they just said it was paid already and not to contact them. exact wording was "wife & children", No specific children names.

Guess I need a lawyer, but how will this get resolved, will the insurance company be responsible to go after the ones that got the money or do I have to go after them? fat chance of getting anything from them, money is probably gone or hidden already. Is the insurance company basically responsible to pay and they go after the others?
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
What year did he die? What year were the beneficiaries paid?

How were YOU able to find out that no specific children's names were listed as beneficiaries?

If you just received hearsay information and if you did not see a specific beneficiary designation form, it is possible that she later submitted a beneficiary designation form that showed only her children's names, which might have been fraudulent if she used a power of attorney (that was granted by him) if she thought (wrongly) that the POA gave her the power to change the designations (which it does NOT give the power to do that).

If you decided to pursue this, the attorney would most likely sue the insurance company and then the insurance company may or may not go after the beneficiaries who have been paid.
 
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Sweet10

Junior Member
this was in 2016, I got a copy of the policy & beneficiary form after asking questions since the beginning of learning of the policies. they paid out about 5 months after death. I informed them less then 2 months after that that there were more children and they basically said go away.

does it matter what state I hire an attorney from? should it be state of death or state of insurance company?
thanks
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
this was in 2016, I got a copy of the policy & beneficiary form after asking questions since the beginning of learning of the policies. they paid out about 5 months after death. I informed them less then 2 months after that that there were more children and they basically said go away.

does it matter what state I hire an attorney from? should it be state of death or state of insurance company?
Insurance companies are regulated by the laws of each individual state that they sell policies so you would sue in the state of the decedent.

I see a problem.

If the beneficiary designation was "wife and children" and the surviving spouse submitted claim forms for her and "children" how is the insurance company supposed to know that there are more children than those submitted and, more importantly, does the insurance company have any legal obligation to investigate the issue prior to paying the claims.

If you are going to hire a lawyer make sure it's a lawyer who specializes in (and has had success at) suing insurance companies.

Seems to me that the insurance company was the victim of fraud and might be the wrong place to be seeking compensation.

It's like blaming the bank when somebody forges your check and steals your money. Chances of recovering the money from the criminal are virtually non-existent but the bank is right there and has plenty of money so the victim wants to go after the bank, but the bank has no responsibility for the acts of the forger.
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
What state did the death occur in?

Was the beneficiary designation form signed by your father only or by someone else?

How much was the annuity worth?

Yes, you want an attorney in the same state and preferably the same county that the death occurred in.

If the insurance company made an improper payout, then that is a significant lapse on their part and they need to pay damages if it is determined that they are liable.

Before you contact an attorney, do a search on Google (or ask a librarian) for the address and website of the state insurance commissioner (for whatever state the death occurred in) and file a complaint with the state insurance commissioner so that the commissioner can investigate your claim, and also please submit a copy of the beneficiary designation form and any other paperwork you might have on this.
 

Sweet10

Junior Member
The death was CT, policy was taken out in NY. It appears to be my fathers signature.

The annuity is over $100k

I will look into the state insurance commissioner thank you and then hire an atty.

thanks
 
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