What to do if the beneficiary of an annuity is an ex-husband?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if the beneficiary of an annuity is an ex-husband?

My sister has passed away. In her Will everything was left to me as she had no

children and I was her only sibling. After probate and contacting the

company that holds her annuity, I found out that her ex-husband of 34 years is the beneficiary of the annuities. This comes as a complete shock. Is there anything I can do about this? The attorney who completed her Will was her ex-husband’s best friend. My sister had home health care for many years and a lengthy history of being an alcoholic. There was a time when she would tell me that her attorney was trying to get her to sign documents but she refused, so part of me believes this whole thing with the annuity was deceitful and someone took advantage of my sick sister.

Asked on June 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, there is nothing you can do. Your sister could have changed this, but did not--she could have contacted the annuity company and made you or her estate the beneficiary. Since she did not, it is, unfortunately, a straightforward contract issue: the annuity goes to whomever was designated as the beneficiary. Because it goes directly to him, it bypasses your sister's estate and therefore is not controlled or affected by her will. The terms of the annuity agreements will be enforced as written.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption