How do I locate irrevocable trust documents?

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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

Answers:

Mark Siegel / Law Office of Mark A. Siegel

Answered 9 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. 


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