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LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3682
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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Short version: Background for the question: Over time lent

Customer Question

Short version:
Background for the question: Over time lent $75,000 to Foster Mother, allowed deferred payment schedule. She insisted on Promissory Note because she was getting up in year and wanted to be sure I got repaid. Promissory Note drawn up signed Bank Gold Medallion Seal. Assets pledged were: 1. Two Dreyfus Accounts; 2. BNY Mellon Account; 3. Pacific Life Annuity; 4. Wells Fargo Brokerage Account; and 5. All estate assets. I did not know exact value of assets at the time the promissory note was executed.

Foster Mother died in Florida on 9/6/2011, her then state of residence. Her attorney is in Connecticut and estate is being probated in Connecticut.

Filed claim with Estate Attorney January 2012. Was told to be patient as estate work continued. Estate Attorney recently stated that Dreyfus Accounts and BNY Mellon Account are Estate assets and I should go after non-estate assets Wells Fargo Brokerage and/or Pacific Life Annuity.

Contacted Wells Fargo-asset turned out to be a Transfer on Death brokerage account. Wells Fargo legal representative stated laws in the State of Massachusetts only allowed them to disburse to named beneficiaries. The asset is gone.

Contacted Pacific Life and was turned me over to legal department. Per their request, sent them a demand letter and copy of the promissory note. Was then told by their lawyer that “some type of notice” required was not filed, suggested getting a lawyer to get a court order. Asset is still in place with current value approx. $118,000.

Promissory Note states payment is immediately due in full on Foster Mom’s demise.

Estate Attorney first stated that court filing could be amended if necessary. He later stated that since my claim has claims against estate assets and non-estate assets that I should forget about estate assets and go after Wells Fargo.

Estate Executor is confused but wants to do the right thing.

I contend I have a claim against the pledged asset before the Estate. And also contend that I have a claim against the Estate in accordance with Connecticut Estate Law, Sec. 45a-365 Order of payment of claims, expenses and taxes.

The Question:
Do I have a “first” claim to the asset pledged to cover the promissory note before the assets go to the Estate, Or do I continue trying to get the Estate to include my claim and wait in line with other creditor to the estate. BotXXXXX XXXXXne is what are my rights with regards XXXXX XXXXX legal claim against the assets pledged within the promissory note and What if anything can the Executor be advised to do to help me? Executor also thinks like me and wants to be sure I am paid in full.

Can email a copy of the Promissory Note if needed.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

LegalGems :

Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction!

LegalGems :

Sympathies to you and your family for your loss. One moment as I review the remainder of your question.

LegalGems :

Typically, when a decedent has a debt, the creditors must submit their claims within the statutory time period (6 months is typical) or their claim can forever be barred. Based on the terms of the PN, both estate assets and non estate assets were pledged. The problem with non estate assets is that a pay on death account takes priority over a PN. One moment as I review the Conn Statute.

LegalGems :

As for the annuity, the death benefit may be payable to specified heirs; or to the estate; annuities vary greatly so it is difficult to comment on this portion. However, based on my experience, I have not seen a creditor submitting a claim to an annuity; generally it is submitted to the estate.

LegalGems :

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/pub/Chap802b.htm#Sec45a-365.htm. According to the statute you referenced, all claims will need to be included, and are paid out in the order specified. Unfortunately, there is no preference given for this type of claim. The executor is responsible for paying off creditors (and you are essentially a creditor) in the preference as stipulated by statute. If the executor gives you priority, the executor can actually be held personally liable by the other creditors. (It's similar in bankruptcy). The problem with the PN is that once your foster mom died, her property became an "estate" so that all of the listed assets are now part of the estate, unless they pass outside of probate i.e. pay on death.

LegalGems :

Please let me know if you need any clarification on the above. Thank you!

Customer :

So regarless of the language in the PN the estate all the assets except the Pay on Death assets where a PN claim is subordinate to the beneficiaries. There are no exceptions? You are a licensed attorney in what state?

LegalGems :

Hello; I am licensed in California; however we do research for all US states.

Customer :

Licensed Attorney? reason I am asking is that I called customer service and what they said confused me as to who is answering my questions and the lawyer on the initial front page was not the person who was assigned and now you do not appear to be the Texas lawyer who popped up.... I am very confused and this has sent red flags

Customer :

Who are you?

LegalGems :

However, I think you misunderstood my answer or I did not make it clear enough. Creditors are paid off BEFORE any beneficiaries receive their inheritance; except for the type of property that can pass outside of probate i.e. joint tenancy; pay on death accounts, etc.

LegalGems :

My user name is Legalgems; we are not allowed to give out personal information. All of us attorneys are licensed and I am not sure why a Texas attorney popped up; it is possible that s/he was viewing the question and then "passed" on it.

LegalGems :

However, this site checks with the bar associations to make sure we're licensed and in good standing, with adequate experience.

Customer :

Thank you for you answering my concern --- legalgems customer service is what gave me great pause as they confused me as to the qualificaitons of people in service as I asked a very simple question "Was the person answering my question a qualified, licensed attorney" --- The person bounced around the answer say I had to be 100% satisfied. did not answer my question.......

LegalGems :

I'm sorry to hear of that. Generally I hear positive things about the customer service dept. I will let them know of your concerns. They have very tight quality control and we have peer reviews of our answers to help ensure that quality. They also send out surveys to customers to ensure the customer had a positive experience with their expert and the site.

Customer :

OK --- So afirm that I do have a claim as a creditor to the estate and payment to me is based on Connecticut Estate Law, Sec. 45a-365 Order of payment of claims, expenses and taxes.

Customer :

You say you have never seen a creditor go after a Annuity because the Annuity beneficiaries have first claim, correct?

LegalGems :

Based on the terms of this site and my state bar, I can't affirm that you specifically have a claim, because that would be giving you legal advice specific to your situation. But a holder of a PN is considered a creditor, and pursuant to the aforementioned statute, the creditors are paid out before a beneficiary receives an inheritance. The annuity generally passes outside of probate similar to a pay on death bank account; if the estate itself is named as the beneficiary, then that money would be available to creditors.

LegalGems :

Did you have any other questions regarding the above?

Customer :

I will digest what you have said before I give a rating ---- Because that is the second question I asked customer service. "Am I getting Legal Advice on your site" --- They would not say yes or no only that I have to be 100% satisfied. As I said to them if they cannot tell me I am getting Legal Advice then we should stop the process before I click on the notice that come up to get me to the chat......good night, I will sleep on this.

LegalGems :

OK, Thank you. I am sorry you are having difficulty with customer service. We ask that you rate the expert based on the experience with the expert, not with the site. But I understand your concern, as we are only allowed to give general legal information, but cannot advise a customer as to a specific course of action. I hope you have at least found the above information helpful. Thanks, and Good night!

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using JA/Pearl! I hope you found my services helpful, as this is important to me.

If you need further assistance, please put TO LEGAL GEMS in front of the question and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

My career position is an attorney; my hobby is a researcher. Fortunately these compliment each other! I hope that means you received great service - and I enjoyed providing it!!

___________________________________
Thank you for rating my answer as this is how I receive compensation for assisting you. I hope JA/Pearl and myself has met your needs and provided you general legal information for you to use in the future. Thank You!

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LegalGems
LegalGems
Estate Lawyer
3682 Satisfied Customers
Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor