Houston, TX asked in Employment Law, Contracts and Estate Planning for Texas

Q: When writing to companies about late husbands benefits can this just be ignored?

I wrote to Insperity Holdings about my late husband's estate and and investment account, since Insperity Holdings is the HR company for the company my husband worked for. I wrote another important person high up in the company, never have heard a word from either of them. Aren't they suppose to contact me within fifteen days? Who should I complain to about not getting a response? My late husband had Investment accounts, deferred compensation, pension plan every thing has been denied to me and I am my late husbands widow married 15 years still married and together when he passed away, I have paper work showing that my late husband's estate was suppose was to come to me, I have been so disrespected and have had my feelings hurt terribly, how can a company do something like this? Who do I ask to have an

investigation in this situation ? is this something that should be put in the newspaper?

2 Lawyer Answers
Gratia "Grace" P. Schoemakers
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Without knowing the situation, it is possible the accounts had a Beneficiary designation on there that was NOT you.

If the money went to someone else, you have no right to know about this, as you are not the beneficiary.

If the accounts had no beneficiary, then you should go through probate and get Letters Testamentary (if there is a will), or Letters of Administration (if there is no will).

Just because someone is refusing to talk to you, doesn't mean that something fishy is going on, or that you have the right to the information.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: First and foremost, file an application to probate your late husband's Will or his estate if he didn't have a Will at the time of his death.

If you are appointed as the personal representative of your deceased husband's estate (either as the executrix of his Will or as the independent administratrix of his estate), your husband's former employer and the holder(s) of your husband's investment account(s) can be compelled to provide you with information concerning his accounts, pension plans, deferred compensation, etc.

As the surviving spouse, you would not necessarily be entitled to such information unless you are specifically named as the beneficiary of the account, plan, etc. If he did not name anyone as beneficiary, it passes to his estate. So you have to probate his estate to get the appropriate legal documents (i.e. formal letters of administration, for example) from the probate court.

If your deceased husband had named someone else (like a sibling or adult child) in his Will as executor of his estate, the employer and account or plan holders could violate their legal duties by disclosing information to you because you would not be the person authorized to obtain that information.

You need to hire a probate attorney and provide that attorney with your deceased husband's Will if he had one, along with the other paperwork you mention that indicates his estate is to come to you.

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