Shady Side, MD asked in Elder Law for Maryland

Q: My grandad is in a nursing home in Florida. My whole life he has told me I am to inherit 40,000

My aunt the executor says there’s nothing left after his care of 10,000 per month. But would like to help with my education so they can receive a tax break?? I’m confused. He’s still alive but not well at all Should I take her at her word???

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ana Maria Del Valle-Aguilera
Ana Maria Del Valle-Aguilera
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Miami, FL

A: There are several issues with your fact situation. First, you were verbally told you were to inherit a certain amount of money. Were you told if this was as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or maybe as the beneficiary of a bank account with payable on death designation (POD) in your favor? If you are the beneficiary on a current life insurance policy you have to wait until your grandfather passes away and the insurance company makes payment to the designated beneficiaries. If you are currently a POD beneficiary in a bank account in the State of Florida, the money belongs to your grandfather until his death and you have no right to the funds nor to information on the account. Your grandfather can remove your name as a POD beneficiary at any time. Due to privacy laws banks cannot even confirm to you that you are a designated POD beneficiary until your grandfather's death,

Once your grandfather passes away, if he owned any assets subject to probate administration, the estate would be administered through the court. There may or there may not be a will. In either case you would be notified if you are a beneficiary.

If you suspect that you may be a POD beneficiary, after your grandfather's death you can send a notarized letter with a copy of your grandfather's death certificate to a bank where you believe your grandfather would have held an account. If you were a designated POD beneficiary on any account at the time of his death you would be entitled to information at that point.

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