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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 20130
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp. with Estate Law issues
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Originally I was named beneficiary close friends pension

Customer Question

Originally I was named beneficiary for my close friends pension and 401K plan. Our company changed to another pension carrier and my name was not transferred to the new carrier as the named beneficiary. My friend passed away in Feb. 2015 of cancer. I did receive the 401K but not the pension. I spoke to our pension plan dept. and they asked if I was the executor and if so, I needed proof I am the executor of the estate to collect the pension funds. Can I become an executor of estate after she has passed and if so what are the responsibilities?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,Thank you for the information and your question. I will need a bit more information from you in order to assist you properly. First, I need to know what State your question relates to. Then I need to know if your friend left a will and if she had any relatives who survived her. If so, have you spoken with them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm in Florida and my friend passed away in Texas. She was an employee where I work and left about 6 years ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know if she left a will and I have not spoke to her family.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, if she had a Will or had family members who opened a probate case for her and were appointed as her executor, you cannot also be appointed executor. There is only one per estate. In addition, if she passed away in Texas that is where the executor would have to be appointed. It would be very difficult, if she had family, for a non-family member to be appointed ahead of them. All that said, if you want to file a claim against the estate for the pension funds, you can do so. Probate issues are very complex and the probate courts require that an attorney represent any parties in a probate manner. So, your first step is to contact an Estate attorney in the County where she died and get them started trying to track down whether she had a Will and if probate was filed, etc. Then they can, if they thin you would have any success try to make a claim for the pension proceeds. But, unless she died intestate and without any willing family members you won't be able to be appointed her executor. The executor is responsible to the heirs for handling all the final bills and collecting and liquidating all of the assets, as well as an accounting to the heirs. Please feel free to ask for clarification.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 27th. For some unknown reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (in the pop up box for this question, which is how we get credit (paid) for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:
Thank you.

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