Originally Posted by DHK
Get the money from the girlfriend. Sue her for it since she had no legal right to it upon death.
Then I would also ask the annuity company when they were notified of his death, and why they did not suspend and adjust payments upon that notification.
In the banking world, we would call that "bank error".
I do not understand why the beneficiary is responsible for THEIR error.
I'd probably threaten legal action against them for essentially EXTORTING the beneficiary for THEIR error.
Not so fast...
If this was a life insurance policy and the company had taken payment from dad's account after his passing but before they were notified, then all premiums after passing would be returned. I've had this actually happen, money was still in the woman's account so the payments kept clearing for months. No one notified me either, so everyone thought everything was fine.
The insurance company is entitled to a return of all payments made since dad's passing. As dad's beneficiary under the contract, mom is entitled to whatever payment she should have received since dad's passing, which appears to be 50%.
Now this is the issue, unless mom had access to the account, she did not receive the payments. The insurance company should collect from whomever had access to the account and probably spent the money. They may not be able to, however that probably does not relieve them of their obligation to the beneficiary under the contract.
Sadly, mom may need a lawyer. However, a letter to the company on a law firm's letterhead may suffice. Many attorneys will offer a free initial consultation and may be willing to send one letter for free or a nominal fee.
Finally, this is quite surprising. What sparked all the lawsuits about death benefits is that insurance companies were actively checking the Master Death File for annuity beneficiaries (which dad was while alive) but not for life insurance insureds. I am quite surprised the annuity company did not catch this immediately and suspend payment. If they were checking and were lax in not noticing dad's passing, then it is completely on them.
Originally Posted by Leispogo
Well the bank had been notified of his death but the annuity payments still went in and were never returned. I guess that isn't something they take care of.
They wouldn't necessarily stop accepting deposits. Money may have been owned to your father and his estate, so allowing deposits is a good thing. However, they should have stopped allowing withdrawals, unless the girlfriend was a joint owner or had rights of survivorship.