What can I do if my father passed away and my siblings were recieving annuity payments and I was supposed but was cut out?

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What can I do if my father passed away and my siblings were recieving annuity payments and I was supposed but was cut out?

I was told that I wasn’t listed as a beneficiary in the policy. However, 5 years after his death I made a claim to the insurance company and they told me the reason why I wasn’t recieving payments is because my older sister never told them about me. I only recieved back pay from when I made the claim but what about the years that I missed? They said that my sister was to be held accountable for the lost money and they could not do anything more. Is this true? I have always felt cheated and still feel I am owed the $ 20,000 in back pay from both parties.

Asked on August 2, 2014 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you were not listed as a beneficiary on the policy, the insurer would have had no obligation to pay you: the policy is a contract, and the insurer only has to pay those parties it contractually agreed, in the policy, to pay. If your sister did anything wrong which caused you to not receive payments or be known to the insurer as a beneficiary, then she may be liable for amounts which should otherwise have come to you--though if she will not voluntarily pay you, you would have to sue her for the money. If you want to explore this option, you should speak with an attorney (one who handles  litigation, or trying cases) to discuss the strength of your case, what  it might be worth, and the cost to bring it.


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