How do I locate irrevocable trust documents?

UPDATED: Jul 26, 2012

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How do I locate irrevocable trust documents?

My uncle listed me and his irrevocable trust as co-beneficiaries on an insurance policy. He lived and died with no contact with myself or my parents in the last few years. I have search for the documents and cannot locate them any where. I have no knowledge of a lawyer or bank accounts he may have had. I was told by the insurance company that the money would become the state’s without the proper information. The customer rep at the insurance company said to me that with such a large amount, I should pursue the matter.

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York


Mark Siegel / Law Office of Mark A. Siegel

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your uncle listed you as a co-beneficiary on an insurance policy, then the insurance co. should have the original beneficiary form, which would confirm your status as a beneficiary. The insurance policy is a contract between the insurer and the insured. The insurance co. is required to pay the beneficiary in accordance with the terms of the insurance policy and any applicable law.

You did not indicate whether you had filed a written inquiry with the insurance co. Additional information is also needed to properly evaluate the basis for the insurance co. advising you that the insurance money will be paid to the state & to determine what, if any, legal issues need to be addressed regarding the irrevocable trust as a co-beneficiary on the insurance policy.    

If you were in fact properly designated by your uncle as a co-beneficiary on the required beneficiary form, then it is possible that you may have standing to commence an action in NYS  Supreme Court, if the insurance co. does not comply with their legal obligations under law in connection with the insurance policy. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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